Honestly we kind of got more than we deserved last gen. We got machines that cost hundreds more to build than we bought them for, and the huge gap in technology actually priced many mid-tier developers out of the market. This may seem like a crazy opinion to many but I believe the gap was too large last gen.
That's a very good point. Not only they were losing hundreds on each sale, in the previous generation we saw horrible failure rates and very high prices in what was a strong fight between Microsoft and Sony to become the leader. Meanwhile the Wii was selling millions with a better profit margin due to different ideas.
In this case, they seem to be taking it easy on the technology and trying to add some ideas to make a difference, like kinect and integration as a very smart TV for Microsoft and a stronger focus on the social and online aspect for Sony.
IMHO, they will need to get some momentum (i.e. AAA exclusives) fast, before the steam machines arrive, or we will see a strong pricefight (I really hope to see it).