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First off, nice Xenoblade Chronicles avatar. That's one of the best RPGs of the past few years on any console, so I'm pretty sure I know where your loyalty lies! :-)
You make a good point that indy developers keep gaming fresh and innovative, but keep in mind that Edmund McMillan made flash games before Super Meat Boy, and Super Meat Boy is also available on Windows and Macs, so there isn't a real necessity for a console for indy gaming to reach its market. Also, it kind of supports Hawkins' point of gaming being more of a niche market, since I don't think either Fez or Super Meat Boy really reached the same level of gaming consciousness as something like Modern Warfare or a Mario title.
As you point out, there is tighter and tighter integration between different entertainment streams, so that you can stream Netflix/Hulu/YouTube on your X360/Wii/Playstation, go online using native browsers, and download new games over WiFi. The console is as central of a part to many living rooms as the TV. On the other hand, it wasn't that long ago that you could have said that about the VCR. Still I think that the gaming console has expanded beyond being a gaming console to the point that it has sufficient value for non-hard core gamers to justify ownership.
One last thing. People were saying that the Nintendo 3DS was a failure at launch and many claimed handheld gaming consoles were dead thanks to the arrival of smartphones. Well, last month New Super Mario Bros. 2 sold about 300,000 units. Keep in mind that is at $40 per unit, not the $1-5 dollars most mobile games sell for.