Games aren't getting any cheaper to make and big blockbuster games are about to become what blockbuster movies have been since Jaws. You'll get five or six blockbusters every year from those privileged developers able to sell single-player action adventures - the Ubisofts, the Irrationals, the Naughty Dogs - and the rest of the release schedule will be filled by indies and smaller studios producing smaller games. And if you think about it for a while, that doesn't sound like such a bad thing.
You've summed up 2012 for me there Michael and it's why I think it's been a great year for gaming (content wise, obviously it's been crap for sales & devs getting laid offs).
We had AAA blockbuster's like Halo, Max Payne, Borderlands, Mass Effect, CoD, FIFA, Far Cry but they were fewer and far between, meanwhile we got a few cool new IP's like Lollipop Chainsaw, Dishonored, Sleeping Dogs, Dragons Dogma, Kingdoms of Amalur inbetween those AAA releases, not to mention the return of XCOM which going on what I've read online has gone down very well.
For me, PSN/XBLA has shined brighter than ever this year, there have been so many quality games released on PSN/XBLA in 2012 it's hard to know where to begin. Journey, Walking Dead, Unfinished Swan, Fez, Minecraft, Tokyo Jungle, Quantic Conundrum, Mark of the Ninja, Trials Evolution, Papo & Yo, Closure, Motorstorm RC, Dust: An Elysian Tail.
That's off top of my head, I'm sure there's more, as far as I'm concerned some of those PSN/XBLA games have crapped all over their AAA counterparts and they've done it for a quarter of the price of their AAA counterparts.
I hope the same happens next year.
And to top it off, iOS solidified itself as a legitimate gaming platform in my eyes with more worthwhile experiences than the 3DS delivered in 2012, the main highlight been Super Hexagon, an eye melting, migraine enduring hypnotic puzzler, a bastard spawn of Trials and Dark Souls with the "one more go" feel of the former and the uber punishing challenge of the latter.
I know some people will disagree and point out the negatives, of which there are many to be fair, but I think this is the golden age of gaming, it's certainly my own personal golden age of gaming if it's no-one elses.