An interesting article. But, I wonder, if the costs and effort associated with game development and getting the game out to the public are rising, wouldn’t the attitude advocated in this article possibly lead to a loss of pluriformity in the industry, and stifle the prospects of change and innovation over the whole breadth of (possible) genres and games? Since it might as easily eliminate markets, genres and userbases as it does pirates in this text.
I'd also alike to respond to what I think are misconceptions, exaggerations and oddities in how people view PC gaming, which show in this thread (and all throughout the internet).
First of all, it's equating the term 'hard core PC gamer' with the hardware rather then the games played (and bought!) and time spent playing. It doesn't matter if someone always keeps up-to-date with the hardware, when he then refuses to use it (and plays on a console instead, for example). And it doesn't matter if someone uses a four year old or cheap computer when he uses it to play all the newest (or older!) games. In this case there's no doubt who the PC gamer is, and as such who can only qualify for being a 'hard core PC gamer'.
Why then do we insist on calling only those who pay buckets of cash each year to upgrade their PC 'hardcore PC gamers'? Or otherwise, why do we insist focussing on those 'hardcore PC gamers' when it says nothing about how much they game on PC?
Second, older and less expensive pc's can qualify as a 'gaming pc'. Especially for those (like me) who prefer PC gaming for reasons other then simply the power of the available hardware or the graphical quality a game can have. Older or cheap computers can play games too, you know.
It isn’t the money spent on hardware that determines the gamer, if you ask me...
Third, it's the idea that pc gamers 'need' to upgrade every year to keep up with minimum specs. Yet a prudently build (not even top-of-the-line), not too expensive pc can usually last for years. Or at least, it does for me
First one to two years with most games playable at mostly maximum graphical settings, and then two or three slowly building down to minimum. A simple, usually cheap upgrade can keep you going without hiccups even those last few years and guarantee performance while at it. But that's a choice you can make, and not mandatory.
Fourth, being able to upgrade, change, swap and choose what goes into your machine is a privilege and an advantage to PC gaming as much as it’s a weakness. Imho, the PC is all about customisation and derives many strengths and weaknesses from it. Just like consoles derive many of their strengths, but weaknesses too from various levels of uniformization.
Perhaps thinking about PC gaming should be done less in terms of hardware? And perhaps the consumers too should think less in terms of hardware?
On this (final) note I find it disturbing that new hardware is released and bought when the old hardware has (afaik) hardly reached it’s limit…