I was thinking about your comment about 'clunky' hardware but I think that is just one of those things whereby if you look at how non clunky our current technology is getting then if you try to do that and set a film in the future then that is just something that would get even sleeker.
If you think about what was viewed as futuristic looking in some of the 70's and 80's sci fi it was just so completely wide of the mark.
I think you can make a futuristic setting seem 'lived in' and give things layers of aging to it but I'm guessing in a film like 'Oblivion' that white sleekness will be a conscious (and straightforwardly obvious) way to portray the seeming difference between the people in those floating cities and those underground. Although Neil Blomenkamp's 'Elysium' is also supposed to feature perfect floating cities and a wrecked surface as well. He might give things a bit of a different look.
I do think there's a lot of upcoming tentpole sci-fi based around the idea of apocalypse but maybe that's just because visual effects can let you realise striking visual images so much easier now.
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'
courtesy of Saquist