Since we only "upgrade" consoles about every 5 or so years, obviously we are going to constantly lag behind the latest and greatest hardware components.
However, it costs a fortune if someone were to try buying the latest and greatest hardware all the time at the rapid rate new technology comes out. Who can honestly say on a computer 5+ years later get EXCELLENT looking games without spending more than 600 dollars on the computer (even though the PS3 is below 300 now)? I'm looking at the games we have now and I see what the computer gaming market offers and my PS3 AAA titles almost always look better and run smoother than what a computer of the same price can do.
When you have a console, you know your going to get your money worth out of it, and you know its going to bring many years of new games.
The biggest problem with Sony gaming/portable consoles is they ALWAYS lack heavily in RAM. I mean it took them forever to lower the XMB footprint (RAM usage) enough to let it run at the same time your playing a game. If they are going to advertise the PlayStation 3 and future consoles as an Entertainment/Multimedia system with all these functions, they need to include enough RAM to allow them all to operate well without scavenging for RAM resources.
As far as the CPU goes, as long as they don't use something completely different (like what they did with the PS3) then it shouldn't be as hard to develop for. They should stick with the Cell, or go to something easier to use without sacrificing performance.
So there you have it. Make it easier to use and add more RAM.
I can understand why some components in the PS3 were so old. It was already too expensive for most people (undoubtably because of the blu Ray drive). Upgrading the GPU and the RAM would have made it sell even worse.
But, we have a solid new media format now that is good enough to last us into then ext generation. I don't think we will move away from Blu Ray for a long time. We might see more support for multiple layer Blu Ray discs that hold even more, but we will still use Blu Ray.
Now that Sony has won the media disc war and Blu Ray technology has become increasingly cheaper, it should be easier to focus on other technology other than the disc drive with the PS4 (such as more RAM, better CPU, better GPU etc..). The price of adding BluRay to the PS3 at the time was expensive because it was new, which added to the PS3's total cost. That means they had to make price cuts somewhere else...and it still ended up at 600 bucks!
When you think about it, the PS4 should turn out a lot better than what happened with the PS3. The PS3 basically got gimped because Sony needed to push out Blu Ray.
If these discs get any bigger, you guys better hope internet speeds get faster and cheaper. Digital downloads of fully packed Blu Ray games is going to be a joke at 50GB+.