PS4 ships with Mono: http://www.scei.co.jp/ps4-license/
Phoronix: Mono Brings C# To The PlayStation 4
For those wanting to work on console games in C#, Mono's PlayStation 4 support work appears to be progressing well...
Would be funny if it got support for MonoGame (XNA)
Consoles are increasingly loosing their optimization advantage over PCs. In a couple of years, a console with a certain hardware specs will run games just as fast as a Steam Machine with the same specs. The only difference will be that the Steam Machine will have 1000 more features
It used to be a time when console had some crazy hardware (tons of sprites over several playfield), usually inspired by their arcade "elder brothers" (see the path from Sega System16 into Genesis).
Nowadays, the consoles are all just re-branded PCs (the first X-Box started the trend, but with the current generation it's even more visible) - with perhaps the exception of the Wii-U (which is technically even worse, performance wise, it's just a souped up Wii with a tablet, which in turn was a souped up GameCube with a motion sensor).
All modern consoles are made with the same off-the-shelf, low cost parts. they don't even attempt to compete on the hardware or the offered performance (PS4 and XBox one are more or less mutually exchangeable if you look only at the hardware).
bur the hardware maker don't actually market them for performance (any high end ultra hardcore gaming machine has already more power). they are marketed for convenince (just plug the shiny box in your living room), and specially, they are marketed for the "experience".
Microsoft and Sony want to you to consider their console as a gateway to their experience, a platform to access an online network and a range of service. (A trend that more or less started with the Sega Dreamcast, even if earlier machines had already some online capabilities. And that was developped into the current modern form by the following generation: Microsoft with its own network on its range of XBox consoles, and Sony with the Playstation network on the more recent Playstation iterations).
Sadly, that's a battle that they are already losing before even starting.
Microsoft and Sony, are trying to leverage their former notoriety in the console hardware field (piggy-backing on their popularity), to develop some network and platform.
Still, they aren't massively popular, are still ridden with problems (to an outsider like me, it seems that whenever the playstation netowork isn't busy getting hacked including the credit card numbers, it's down).
Meanwhile, Valve has started the other way around: its has build a very strong online platform, with a vibrant community, lots of users, a immense library ranging from AAA titles to small indies, with ties into various other project (collaboration with Humble-Bundle would be an example).
It has already successfully become what Sony and Microsoft dream to reach: Steam is "the Google" or the "Facebook" (pick your favorite apple-to-orange comparison metaphor) of Games.
It "merely needs" to gets its own console.
Which in fact won't be that much complicated given the current trend: no console-maker is heavily competing on the hardware.
The key point distinguishers: the platform, the network and the huge library - they already have it in advance before even starting the competition, whereas Microsoft and Sony are still clumsily trying to duplicate the success.
DrYak, that was a very well written evaluation. I'd not actually tbought about it all that way, and now I think you're spot on.