But more than that, I was thinking my HTPC has got a dual-core AMD chip in it that was like $50, it's got an ATI Dx10 part that was again about $50. It's got a nice stereo-cabinet like case and it's very cool and quiet. I'm pretty sure I could make a console from off the shelf retail parts that would be faster than an Xbox 360 or PS3. Yeah yeah the 360/PS3 are faster in theory if you just count flops or something, but the massive advantage of a proper PC CISC OO core would make my homebrew console faster on most real world code.
Obviously those parts weren't so cheap when the 360 or PS3 were being developed. Also I guess the cost of all the little bits adds up : case, mobo, PSU, DVD drive, hard drive. Still, it's pretty upsetting that our consoles are these awful PowerPC chips with weird GPUs when a proper reasonable computer is so cheap.