I recently upgraded my PC from a 7-8 year old Core 2 Duo, and even before that upgrade I was still playing AAA games, like Dying Light, just not at the highest settings.
Thanks for the data point. I'll mark ability to scale down to a C2D as "works for some".
most people have a PC around for other uses anyway
Except for people like one of my former co-workers, who owned only a smartphone. Mobile-only users adapt with Bluetooth keyboards and occasionally blocking out time for errands during library hours. Likewise, people who have only a laptop with Intel graphics and no standard MXM slot can't cheaply upgrade to a gaming GPU.
If you own a console with a $60/year subscription for 6 years you'd have an extra $360 to off-set the additional PC sticker price, subsequent PC upgrades (if needed), or pocket it.
Or theoretically spend it on some corresponding PC game rental service, if only one existed. Though "you can't play online on a console without also buying game rental" appears to be an argument in the PC's favor, console fans could reply "you can't buy game rental at all on PC". What do PC gamers typically use as a substitute for PlayStation Plus Free Games or Games with Gold? Or do they just rely on reviews? Or buying into a Humble Bundle every few months?
If you want to go used or older generations then the costs for consoles go down.
Likewise, I ought to try to remember to recommend a more recent used desktop PC with a new GPU to others making price comparisons.