Even with services like Steam, gamepad compatibility, performance, upgradeability and compatibility, PC gaming is a bar too high for some users. A lack of technical knowledge, not enough money, etcetera...
Well, I'm about to drop a rig that drastically outperforms our current-gen consoles.
And it costs about $400.
Here it is.
Part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Biostar TA75MH2 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($78.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Raider ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Power Supply: Sparkle 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($32.99 @ SuperBiiz)
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-12 11:24 EST-0500)
Get Windows separately or find a copy lying around. Install it from a flash drive if you don't want to invest in a disc drive.
If you don't want to build it, get someone to build it for you.
This rig is enough to play most modern games, 720p, at good framerates and with much, much better-looking graphics than the current consoles.
I'd estimate twice as much as the 360, in terms of graphical horsepower.
It's a solid PC by itself, too.
There you go.
(And for when you want a graphics upgrade, pop in a 6570 or 6670 to run in Crossfire with the processor. There's tutorials online for this, and it'll increase performance significantly. This is if you're tight on a budget, though- if you can afford it, toss in a 650 Ti, 660 or 7970 to up your performance. The CrossFire for this rig is really only good if you're on a tight budget.)