We have entered the next generation of videogames, apparently. I hardly call it 'next-gen' and more like a cynical extension of the previous generation i.e. the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii era. I do no own an Xbox One, or PS4, or a Wii U even, because a) I am not made of money b) I have a high-end gaming PC with a ridiculous amount of games bound to me like a positively-masochistic ball and chain c) The PS3 and Xbox 360 are still viable gaming options.
You can argue and say that you can play games at 1080p, except not all the launch titles can even achieve that, or 60FPS even. If I didn't transcend into a fully-fledged PC gamer a while back, I would have been okay with 30 frames-per-second, however playing game regularly at 1080p at 60FPS now, you really notice the difference and thus, experience a whole new and much smoother level of gameplay, and afterall, we just want to play games and have a fun experience right, no matter the platform. I do not want to go all 'PC-master-race' on console gamers, as I was pretty much a console gamer for three-quarters of my life, but this generation of videogames is not all that interesting...yet.
The Steam Box - bringing PC games to your living room. The Steam box is a neat concept, not for me personally as I already have a gaming PC approximately worth £1200 and in which I built myself. I can understand some gamers not wanting to build their own PC, as it is a very tedious process, albeit a rewarding one. However, I can also understand gamers wanting to buy a PC outright with less hassle, and this is where the Steam Box comes in.
Valve are pretty much offering a gaming PC to naive console gamers who want to get into PC gaming, with a console and controller they will immediately feel familiar with except they will playing among the hugest library of games out there, the PC games library. Thousands of AAA and indie titles, old and new, at their disposal and apparently the Steam Box controller will be fully supported on all them. The latter is speculative, but would be impressive if pulled off successfully. PC games are generally played with keyboard and mouse, but having a controller for certain games is a viable option too. The Steam Box is going to be a more of an investment compared to the current consoles, however it has a lot more to offer in the long run.
If you already own an Xbox 360 or PS3, and already play games on them, unless you are a huge fan of a certain series of games e.g. Infamous, then buying a PS4 right now wouldn't be necessary, as the next Infamous title is not out yet, and if you bought a PS4 now, you would be investing into a bunch of mediocre launch titles, the same with the Xbox One, and neither justify the price you would be willing to pay for them. The Wii U however, being in the game for about a year now, is starting to show some excellent titles like Mario and Zelda, etc, although it is lacking on the third-party support front. It is much cheaper than the other two consoles and Nintendo has always been about gaming, and the Wii U is actually backwards-compatible unlike the other two. I'll be buying a Wii U when Bayonetta 2 releases, because the first game is one of the best videogames ever created, and so was Super Mario Galaxy, the best game of the last generation in my opinion even, and that would be my perfect excuse for the using the backwards-compatibility when owning a Wii U.
You could also go down the straight-up PC gamer route, and if you already did your research and you want to build your own PC with your own parts, go for it, I implore you to do so. I can even help you with that, send me a private message and I can tell you what my set up is and how much I spent on it, etc. If you are lazy however and want to possibly spend less, wait until Valve gives you the decision to look and choose among a selection of PC builds, because there will be more than one Steam Box. As of now, play some games on PSN or Xbox because you probably own them already. In fact, sign up to PlayStation Plus if you haven't already, because you get an excellent amount of free games for a very low monthly/annual cost, and if you do decide to get a PS4 for that Infamous title, it will carry over. Overall, you can either buy a Wii U for Christmas, consider buying the PS4 and Xbox One next spring, or do none of the above and join the glorious PC master-race sometime next year. Colon followed by capital-P.
Disclaimer: This is the very first blog I've ever written on Destructoid Community Blogs, and would appreciate some constructive feedback, or some discussions about videogames even, because you know, videogames are cool. You can also find me on Twitter - @Gazernator, Gazanator101 - PSN, gazanator - Steam.