PC Elitist go hand and hand with people that buy Chevy because its easier to mod, I don't see how its easy, but its for sure SPOON fed because how many times can you build a SBC and get 500-600hp?? If you build one and don't you did something WRONG, its only been done 10,000 times and 100's of books and magazine stories have been written, some how you weren't paying attention, never mind a simple phone call to Edelbrock and your gold card will have you a complete system of parts all you need to do is provide the basic engine short block...
Yeah the PC market has grown based on its fan base supporting the game, making new maps, new cars, hacking other games for content. Geez people still play Grand Prix Legends and the last NASCAR sim released by defunct Papyrus!
Not to mention other games at least 10 years old....
That's great and that's missing from consoles and it will take a maturing of the online community for that to happen, not to mention programers to allow such a thing to happen. But with the fears of piracy, it will take awhile to convince some companies its okay to let the fans make content for the game its save you from HOURS of trying to come up with some new feature for your next installment of the game, if you even thought that far ahead as a company.
I could have lived with my 5 year old Dell 4550 as it was mostly used for the Internet, some mild video editing, DJ mixing and TV on the 17" monitor it came with. But with HDTV becoming an affordable reality, I couldn't watch more than 720p content without major spiking of the CPU because the graphics card was loafing as it came out before ATI's own HDTV Wonder TV card (I had an AIW 9600XT). The single game I did play, but never finished was Pro Race Driver and one of the first of the mature DX9 games, the 9600XT with 128mb of VRAM had no problem it it, running at high detail, filters on, though it did skip a tiny bit at times because it was playing from the DVD and now I understand why the no-CD hack is so popular and sites like Steam exist solely for down loadable games, requiring no CD/DVD to be used to play the game it plays much faster from the HDD.
I had stopped playing my original PS1 mainly because most of the games I had for it, I had finished/beaten. But I breathed some new life into my PS library when I found some PSX emulators, which allowed video and screen capture, something unavailable generally from the console on its own. By then PS1 games were dirt cheap, PS2 was the rage. I played all the games I had been meaning to play and found them fun even though graphics had matured in the PC and Console markets. But remember, it still took a fairly reasonable amount of time for even a PC to run PSX graphics smoothly, you needed at least a 9000 series ATI card or comparable 3DFx card or Nividia TNT2 (remember those?), I tried it on Intel IGP and with the plug-ins turned down to nothing at all, it would play okay but GT ran butter smooth at 60fps, detail turned on high and even a filter or two to smooth it out. GT1/2 by far look the best via an emulator than on the original machine...
I finally bought a PS2 when the Slim came out and GT4 was released. I have about 5 games for it and 2 borrowed games for it. I wouldn't call myself a hardcore gamer, but when I do play I expect best graphics possible, is it coming from a console background as this is not an issue on consoles... I played racing games on my mother's x486 for CS and ran smoother when I put a Voodoo card in it (remember those?).
I am mainly a racer, other times I buy action games or sport games. I mostly like 3rd person view games, so naturally I like the Siphon Filter series, Metal Gear Solid, Driver and GTA starting with GTA 3. I also play football, when Gameday (and College Gameday) was dominate I bought that, when Madden caught them and finally passed them, I got Madden and NCAA College Football (been playing since Bill Walsh on the SNES). The last Baseball Game I played on anything was a PC game, Tony Larussa Baseball circa early 90's. I loved it, it better graphically than console games at that time.
So when I couldn't play OTA HD content smoothly that was my major motivation to upgrade my PC, not to play games. I had stayed away from PC games because while the depth and graphics might have been better than 16 bit (SNES) and 32 bit (PS1) consoles, I had to upgrade my PC and spend another $200+ for a card acceptable to run whatever I wanted to play. I would go into Fry's and walk past the latest PC racers and while I wanted to play them, not bad enough to buy the card and the game to run it. I had GT it was plenty fun and to this day no PC based racer has as many cars and yeah I know how many variations of a Nissan Skyline can you have.... I never have more than two if your curious, I always keep the Nismo 400R and Mine's Skyline...
I orginally attemped to upgrade my aging P4 2.4Ghz single core Dell, but that proved troublesome and went a few days without being able to watch tv because by that time, I had moved on from the Dell 17" monitor to a Gateway 24" monitor because I couldn't find a LCD TV to fit my desktop as all of them had speakers mounted on the bottom and the previous generation Sammy had speakers on the side and was still for sale but didn't fit... No working PC, no Media Center, therefore, no TV.
So I quickly looked at the suggested HTPC thread and targeted the "Low End" AMD build and bought all the parts based on that, while adding dual channel 3GB of memory and a hotter CPU than that build suggest a 5000+ Black Edition.
It plays OTA HD without issue and that's because of the brute CPU power I now have. But even now I feel I am falling a bit behind and while many programs aren't even using more than one core to speed up use and the only one I have on here is Studio 10 which does use dual and quad cores to speed up processing, I am considering a Phenom upgrade and thank goodness this is an AM2+ board, making that proposition fairly affordable.
But I liken playing PC games that require a certain amount of eye candy to a dog chasing its tail. Ulimately fruitless but mildly entertaining.... I will not bow to constantly upgrading my hardware and when I do make the jump to say 780 or 790 board and 140w Phenom Quad Core, that should be IT until say 2012 or beyond? Most people still have single core CPU's and that's plenty for the internet and average PC use. A $70 card will allow you to max out the graphics in WoW and if your that hardcore about that game you'll make the minor investment.
There isn't anything out here requiring using more than a 3Ghz single core CPU other than video editing, CAD use and gaming...We are considered enthusiasts, hardcore users of a PC and even if consoles reach a point where its everything to everybody in a family, I'll always have a PC of some sort at least in the near future.
I'll wrap this up by saying the PC game programers need to do some soul searching, you can't keep requring people to every 2-4 years to put in a new graphics card or replace a entire PC to play a game and if you beat it in 2-3 days, c'mon it took people longer to finish MGS on the console, so there goes your "depth" argument out the window; it will increasing look to casual gamers that don't requiring the dramatic visuals most of us demand in games because they are sports, simulation, point-n-click or action titles and they'll increasingly look to consoles to stay afloat and remain profitable.
Sorry for the story, thought you might want a profile on what a maybe typical gamer looks like...
PSN - DJFourMoney