Game Consoles Hit Milestones Toward What Goal?

Informationweek: Both Sony (NYSE: SNE)'s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Xbox 360 reached sales milestones in Japan last week -- 3 and 1 million units, respectively -- but I'm not sure I understand the long-term strategy for game consoles.

I used to think that consoles were the stealth technology for becoming digital entertainment hubs, as the pricing (much lower than a desktop PC) and purpose (an immediately entertaining use) seemed matched to the purchase intentions of a large group of likely buyers (young people with money to burn). The shoot-'em-up games that drove sales of Sony's and Microsoft's first-gen consoles would give way to a variety of entertainment media, which would move ever-more consumers to swap their TV remotes for game controllers. 2-D staring would be replaced by 3-D playing.

But that hasn't happened, has it?

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