How is RARE dead? MS recently gave them a new office, they're making games that are selling millions, and they are working hard on the Xbox Live infrastructure and next-gen games. I highly doubt that MS would do that and then sell them - especially considering the premium they paid. If anything, we may see a Conker or Viva Pinata title on Nintendo hardware (3DS), but unlikely on Wii U. Rare did develop a few games for the DS, remember?
The article is very poorly researched and inflammatory. As an australian, I am biased, but I daresay that Australia is not the worst country in the world to game. Certainly out internet infrastructure is nowhere near as advanced as the U.S and definitely not as Korea's (blame a country as large as the U.S but with one tenth of the population), and prices are slightly higher, but there really isn't a great deal different about being an australian gamer to a gamer of the U.S Most major titles now release worldwide simulataneously (back in the PS1 days we had to wait months for games), game prices are generally only slightly more than the U.S (most games are around $70-$80 on release, less for PC, and that's in store - online is cheaper). When you couple in the import fees, and the U.S tax, games are really not the much more expensive in Australia. And then you have to factor in cost of living. The minimum wage in the U.S is about $7. In Australia, it's over $10. So it comes out to being pretty much equal there. And lastly, censorship. You should note that of the thousands of games released in Australia, very few are denied, and even less are censored. And even that is changing (plus, most gamers import anyway). Factoring in the realities versus the hype, Australia is a good country to game in.
How can a console ruin the franchise? Thats up to the developers themselves. Capcom did well enough on RE that they flooded the market with some half baked titles, Square Enix did the same with Final Fantasy. MGS has had only a remastered title for the 360 and it's rather good actually. Revengeance is coming eventually, but will be on PS3 as well and I see no argument that can point out that the Xbox 360 itself will be at fault if the game tanks. The GTA games are continuiously (sp?) getting better, and the Xbox 360 version is generally regarded as the best version. With Devil May Cry, that is again up to Capcom (who do their own thing), but the same game was on PS3 and PC as well, remember. Tekken was always good, and the latest version isn't bad either. It certainly doesn't stand up to some of the other fighters, but that's more a fault of the developer than the console. Namco has got plenty of experience with the console and their games are on par with the PS3 versions. Again, I point to Capcom for the worst franchise addition - Dino Crisis 3. The first two were some of my favourite PS1 games. Ever look back on that now? And lets look at some of the highlights as well - Oddworld was brought back magnificently on the Xbox, as was Panzer Dragoon.
I'm assuming it has something to do with the MS exclusivity deal they have. MS pays Activision a percentage to allow the content of their biggest titles launch earlier on their system. It certainly makes sense. That allows more people to buy the content on the 360 first, which drives up demand on the console itself (sales), which leads to sales of other Xbox Live services, which benefits MS greater than it would otherwise. How is this not seen as beneficial for Microsoft or it's gamers?
Graphics technology is now so good that it is really art design that trumps the technology. For instance, I think the original Bioshock is one of the most gorgeous games of this gen, but technically, it's running on the same engine thats powering goodness knows how many games this gen.
Having diversity for diversity's sake doesn't appeal to me. I'm happy to play a game with a character regardless of sex or race, as long as I'm invested in their story, and the gameplay is up to scratch. For instance, I'm currently really enjoying The Walking Dead, which features a black protagonist (I'm white), my SWTOR character is black, some of my favourite games include italian protagonists (Mario and Assassin's Creed) and so on. It's up to the developer to create a convincing character and gameplay to match - to make the character someone fleshed out - and that we can become, or envision ourselves as.