It's interesting you mention the 'short tail' of GTA4: I wonder if gaming has reached a point like films and books have, where there are no 'classics' to be had anymore, at least among the 'blockbusters'. Think how long ago the last film everyone agrees was a 'classic' came out. _The Usual Suspects_? _GoodFellas_? How about books? Whatever your opinions on _The DaVinci Code_, Dan Brown certainly isn't going into the canon anywhere near an Updike, let alone an Faulkner.
And then when you start to think about music...
Have we reached that point in games? If we have, why: is it because the tools have matured like they did in writing and film? Or is it just a result of our post-modern age, where as Blur once said: "Modern Life is Rubbish" not in the sense of being valueless, but of being a product of recycling, and it is media in general that is now incapable of becoming a classic because our era does not permit the creation of classics?
And if there will be no more classics, how does that change our relationship to games, knowing that whatever new game we play, it is destined to become just another 'hit' forgotten about before the generation of the console it came out on is passed by, while we continue to talk about games that are now older than most of the people talking about them?