Having the game run at 60fps instead of 30fps is way more important than having it run at 1600x900 rather than 1920x1080. You're unlikely to notice that resolution change very much (assuming they have a decent scaler), but going from 30 to 60 in a first person shooter is like night and day. I think they made a good choice to drop the resolution a bit and shoot for a good framerate.
I already pay for PS+ because of the IGC and other discounts, so that makes me lean toward the PS4. Xbox Live is a joke in comparison. Some of the IGC games are oldish, but the free Xbox Live games have been ancient. Seriously, Halo 3, when there are two more recent entries in the series? I also don't play online much, so the other features of Xbox Live don't benefit me much.
Those numbers are weird. You can't beat Crusader Kings II (I guess you could conquer the world, but probably not in 60 hours) and how do you play all of Skyrim in 30 hours?
This was the first generation I didn't play anything obsessively, perhaps because it was the first I had a job throughout. I think Skyrim tops the list for me at about 120 hours over about a year. Second place is probably either P4G or Crusader Kings II.
I'd say no and no, but it depends on how much money you have I guess. Going from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge won't do a lot for you and I doubt the bump you'd get from a 280X would be worth the $300. Maybe it would be worth it if you could use Crossfire, which I know works across generations with some ATI cards, though I'm not sure if the 6970 and 280X can do that.
As long as there continues to be no tax on PSN, I'll probably stick with that. It saves be about $8 on a new game. I also don't trade in games anyway, so there isn't much of an advantage to having discs for me.
I've purchased several early access games and I think it's a good idea as long as the developers are up front about the current state of the game. I bought Prison Architect because it's in a state that's perfectly playable now and continues to get better with every patch. It's also really nice to have Steam automatically grab all of the updates, it's fun to have a new build of a game to fool around with every month or so.
That said, I'm sure there plenty of shady projects on early access that will turn out to be terrible games or just never get finished. I wouldn't mind if Steam added another purchase confirmation page that alerted users that they are buying an unfinished game and accepting the risks that come along with that. I can't imagine how someone could miss the big blue box on the store page, but people seem to.