Sony announced the Playstation 4 about a month ago, and rumors are flying that the reveal for the "next Xbox" from Microsoft could be coming very soon. The PS4 has a PC-based hardware inside from AMD and Microsoft's next console is rumored to be much the same.
One of the bad things about current generation console development is that if game developers and publishers want to issue post-release patches, they must go through the QA department of the console's hardware makers. As a result, it's highly expensive to issue patches for console games and they can also take weeks go through the certification process before they are released. PC game patches, on the other hand, have no such restrictions.
Now there's a rumor that suggests that situation might not be repeated for the PS4 and the next Xbox. OXM quotes Simon Vikland of Overkill Software (makers of the 2011 team shooter Payday: The Heist) as saying, "I've heard stories that for the next generation, they're making it possible to self-publish patches. That's a rumour. And that would be nice."
It would make a bit more sense to allow that kind of freedom to patch games since the hardware inside the next generation consoles is based firmly on the already established PC x86 standard, rather than the more custom processors that the PS3 and Xbox 360 have. We should learn more about these kinds of features in the months ahead of the console launch dates.
Source: OXM | Image via Sony