Elemental not in the same company as Civilization 5? What planet you been living on?
The real one?
I would be amazed if elemental comes close to achieving the sales level of a civilization game, or having the same awareness or recognition levels at the moment as the civilization series.
It might be a similar type of game, it might gain a better critical reception(+be a better game), but only the most ardent fan would expect it to sell as much as a civilization game/be as popular as one. Not to say it hasn't got a chance, but the odds are certainly against it.
I don't think the original question was meant to just list mega-successful franchises. Obviously Civ5 will sell on name alone for many people. I took that list to be a snapshot compilation of PC gamers' anticipated titles for the next year. It is hard to imagine that anyone reading this post (as in: those the question was posed to) is not in some way excited about each of those titles in some way. Even if the franchise itself is not your cup of tea each of those games has the potential to be a very fun and, in most cases, ground breaking experience.
I mean, do you really think galactic civilizations was better than: Deus Ex, Fallout 1 and 2, Planescape: Torment, Diablo II, etc, etc.
Your "reality" is obviously seriously flawed in this case.
These are all vastly different games from GalCiv2. I loved all of them (other than Planescape - I never got to try that one) but it is hard for me to put them all in a category other than "Games I really, really enjoyed".
As far as the original question: I am not a "PC gaming is dead" person. I love my PC and have not owned a cosole for many years. Yet as my kids get older I can again see the allure of the consoles:
1) A static set of hardware that you KNOW will run every game you buy the way it was intended to run. It may not be a good game but it will run well. My computer right now is running an 8800GTS that is doing a fine job, but games are constantly being developed to push the PC envelope and already I need to scale down a little bit at times.
2) There is a great pre-owned marketplace for console titles. As a budget-conscious consumer/parent I appreciate that fact. I still have my "must-own" moments for gaming but often times I wait awhile for prices to drop a bit. With pre-owned you get lower prices a bit sooner as well as lower-lower prices over time.
3) I like the fact that 2,3,4+ people can sit down in the same room and play a video game together. I was doing that with my friends back on the 2600 all the way through college on the PS1. Very fun times when you have the people around to enjoy them.
I still plan on upgrading my PC when needed and will enjoy that medium through the end of time.. yet part of me, and a big part of my kids, is getting ready to jump into the PS3 world as well. I think we will balance both just fine.