I can't believe it has come to this. I have become the cranky old bastard who vehemently argues that games were better "back in MY day."
Back in my day if you walked into a video game store, fully half, if not more of the shelf space was PC games. Granted, partly because PC games came in those absurdly large boxes, but there were a ton of games of all kinds. There were so many games because PC's were the steak of the gaming meal, consoles were a side dish, a yummy side dish no doubt, but still secondary to PC's. This was because gamers always has a tendency to crave the latest and greatest that the industry had to offer. With consoles you couldn't do that; you were constrained to a ridged set of guidelines that could not be altered. That's not to say that good games could not be made on consoles, of course not! Some of my all time favorites are console games.
What you would find with PC developers back then is that they were always pushing the envelope, coding with the next generation of hardware in mind. This was an exciting time for games because there was no limits, rules, or regulations and developers went wild, sometimes to hilariously disastrous effect(Diakatana), and sometimes strokes of pure unmitigated genius(Half life). Either way was fine with us, because there was always some crazy shenanigans going on, and damn it that's the way we liked it!
All that is gone now, eclipsed by the massive adoption of console, mobile, and social gaming. Here's some stats for you: 30% of people over 50 play games. There are twice and many 30 something females playing games as teenage boys. The average age of gamers purchasing games is 41. You may note that a large portion of the gaming community are not well known for sitting on the bleeding edge of technology. Quite the opposite, they want something simple and familiar. Not big changes, loud noises, or sudden moves.
So the landscape has changed, a whole new demo-graph has appeared and the market has responded in kind. Give the people what they want. What about us old timers though? We're still here, aren't we? Anybody? Hello? Well no not really. Most of us have rationalized away our decision to just go with it, and forgo the life of a cutting edge gamer. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say, "oh, I just use my Xbox now because it just easier and I don't have to worry about making the game work." Or this old chestnut, "I can't afford to keep pouring money into a gaming rig." Or my personal favorite, "I have a mac now." People have just given up, and settled for tech from 5 years ago that is "good enough."
Here's the thing, PC gaming is NOT expensive, and it is NOT to complicated, and it is NOT difficult. How many people do you know that don't have a PC in their house? Almost nobody, except said "mac people." The computer is already there anyway, so that's not an expense. For about 150 bucks you could get someone to slap in a video card that is vastly superior to the hardware on any console. Add an Xbox controller, install steam, and you are good to go. All in, less than 200 bucks for a gaming system that is vastly superior to any console. As an added bonus, you CAN upgrade if you feel like it, but it is not required.
Maybe I'm just a confused old man who doesn't understand all the newfangled ways of the gaming industry, with your farmville's and your cranky birds or what have you. That being said, I still game a bit on my phone, or my tablet, or my consoles, but for the most part for me those are just appetizers. When I really want to dig into some serious gaming, for me at least, it always was, and always will be on my trusty old PC.
But I feel my kind is almost extinct.