wow, was just Googling this up yesterday and today I see your question. My view is that with video might just be the next step for quite a few of us.
The channels to deliver it to the customers have increased in quantity, quality and relative price has fallen. Almost all stores today boast of multiple screens that can be used to deploy video, we all carry around mobiles that can easily reproduce videos and we have the bandwidth to get it streamed to us.
On the creative front, as you said, it's cheaper now to get high quality videos, much cheaper to store them and a whole lot easier to process them as needed. It's definitely not as convenient as a picture right now, but then I guess that's what people used to say about pictures some 10-15 years back.
Personally I think that we have just reached that point where current dSLR and P&S owners see little to be gained by updating their camera to a current model. We may be gear-heads in these forums, but I would think the vast majority of dSLR and P&S buyers are not, and see little to be gained by replacing their gear.
I know many non-photographers who have recently gone to iPhones or smartphones with capable cameras in them, and ALL of them have a physical camera from Canon Rebels, Nikon D90s and D5xxx's to the Sony RX-100, Canon G series and S90/95's. I think there was a surge when video was added into cameras in HD in a big way, and now that we are through that hump, we are back to more normal growth - whcih for now looks like losses. The real problem, in my view, is that instead of selling us film every few days or months, the manufacturers need to sell us something. Since digital doesn't have any consumables, they need to try to get us to consume cmaeras themselves! Why any of us really need to upgrade at this point from cameras bought in the last year or two seems to be beyond the industry to understand... That is my view, anyways :)
Great points Brad, I find myself lusting after new cameras when they are announced but as soon as I think sensibly can't justify the expense for the small gain in image quality or ease of operation, it's not as if a camera from 3 or 5 years ago has suddenly started to produce pictures that are worse now than they were then, it's just that the manufacturers have to keep selling new gear to keep the business afloat.
I agree to most of this. My NEX 6 is barely a year old and I'm already drooling over the new A7 and A7r. I know it's a big step up, but does that justify the expense
I've been a big supporter of the fact that most people leave their DSLRs at home because the size and weight outweigh their will to take pics. That was the reason I went for a mirrorless. I was willing to sacrifice the ergonomics and extra buttons for a small package that I could take everywhere with me.