From the moment on Mickey$oft announced they would produce the X-box I foresee strange scenarios about this console.
I think the X-Box will be a basic console which will run many games in its first year. But once Mickey$oft has a huge marketshare in the consoles market the true nature of this box of Pandora will be revealed: Once the gamesplayer wants to play a new better-than-reality multi-player game in extreme high resolution he is forced to fork out $$ for additional hardware.
"You want this game to run? -Buy X-Box advanced graphics station 2.05 Beta today" or "You have finished the first level of the game? Buy our exclusive licence for levels 2-4. Please note the game will not be playable past 12-12-2002".
Just read my words.. This scenario could become realistic sooner than anyone expects.
About the gamesindustry in general: last week I saw a program on TV about the French software industry (UBI Soft, Callisto Entertainment, Cryo) and they recruted students from arts academies. These students can get any job they want and they can earn up to Fl 10.000 a month ($ 5000). This is totally insane!
The attention graphic artists get is outragous. I think this will not change in the near future. Processors still get faster and consumers are still willing to fork out many $$ for a nice looking piece of software with zero lastability. As long as people can earn millions of dollars in this industry their behaviour towards more playability will not change.