One of the benefits of traditional consoles is the (relative) lack of the kind of hardware fragmentation that can cause errors, glitches, and performance drops. Case in point, my copy of No More Heroes just works when I pop it into my Wii. Of course when you do have an issue (due to aged hardware or what have you), there's not much you can do about it.
One of the benefits of PC's is that when something DOES go wrong, you can usually figure out what's wrong and fix it. For example, when XCOM: Enemy Unknown came out, I was experiencing unplayable slowdown (not a low framerate, more like slow motion). After an hour of digging around and trying a few things, I figured out that I needed to update my BIOS. Unfortunately, the BIOS updater refused to recognize the thumb drive carrying the update file, and it took a little more searching to find out that BIOS's sometimes have trouble recognizing thumb drives that are larger than 512 mb. Most stores no longer carry drives that small, but fortunately I was able to find someone at work with an old, tiny thumb drive lying around, and used it to update my BIOS at home. Voila, all the issues disappeared, and the game ran great! The whole experience was annoying and frustrating, but I was ultimately able to fix the issue.
So... if SteamBox or whatever they call it has all the hardware fragmentation of PC's, with the streamlined interface of traditional consoles, what's my recourse for when the game has obscure compatibility issues with the hardware? Will you be able to back out into a Linux shell and fix the issue yourself? Will it be up to standards adherence and vigilant devs to make sure hardware fragmentation doesn't get out of hand? Or is there some magic bullet that Valve has discovered?
Or are we looking at the worst of both worlds, with broken games that you can't fix?