There's tons of stuff going around about the newest consoles. With that, there are a lot of things that need to be worked on, and here are a couple of my personal ideas.
As for the marketing aspect, MS needs to get off their rumps this summer and start the hype for the 360. They need to do this, because they need everyone to see what the system can do rather than sitting on their laurels and letting Sony's Press Conference do the damage it's doing.
This is vital to the success of their system because in the last week, i've had to sit down with multiple groups of people that just had NO idea what the 360 could do. I've explained Live, XNA, all the new devs, and anything else I could. I did this to add a little info to their lives because almost every one of them kept saying "PS3 is gonna RAWK the next Xbox!!" They didn't even know it's name, yet they knew about the 360.
The response? They loved the ideas and were honestly considering both consoles before purchase. My personal goal, in that aspect, was to keep them from dumping on any particular system - especially since the closest one is six months away. Denying yourself a good time is a bad idea, lol.
The problem here is that not all hardcore gamers are multi-console ppl like myself. They stick with one console, and the mainstream is the same way. If MS plans to even keep in this race, they better start the marketing machine NOW.
And to add to the comments about the gameplay losing out, it's not because there aren't ideas out there. Everyone in here could throw in a different idea that would make a game fun and if added to a game, it could work out well.... Except for the fact that SUPER-COMPANIES like EA are killing off the innovation until they want to spend the time developing something new.
A company's business plan is to maximize profits. Unfortunately, new franchises and the time(and money) it takes to develop a new franchise isn't easily obtained by the startup devs that have fun ideas. Companies like EA use sequels as cheap ways to keep the profits in, because they can use existing work and change the storyline enough to warrant a new title. This has a LOT to do with the gameplay problems of the current day.
Once they figure out ways of giving away dev kits to the new and eager devs, gaming will take a whole new leap in gameplay. The bigger companies won't do it, because it isn't too profitable for their bottom line, but a new dev with nothing to lose has nothing to lose if they aren't paying for the kits.....
I HOPE YOU HEAR THIS MICROSOFT!! Go to schools that teach game creation, give them an educational version of your software tools and let their imaginations run wild. That way, there are more devs that can use your tools as they leave school - and they have time to work on games that port easily between PCs and consoles.
IMHO, when that happens, and ONLY when that happens, will the gameplay step up a few notches. Give kits to groups of people who would love for nothing more than to make a game and haven't tasted the money yet. Then we'll all benefit.