Adherents of the belief in the so called PC gaming master race will objects to the assertion on the face of it, but after much analysis I have concluded that what I call the Windows Gaming Snob Society is hurting the gaming industry more than any other factor.
Let's start with economics. Consoles are designed to be moderately priced for the masses. Prices for a gaming worthy Windows computer start at $700 for a laptop and $500 for a pre-built desktop (minus monitor and with standard peripherals). Keep in mind that desktop will need immediate upgrades of around $300 or so for monitor(s, "serious gamers" have at least 2), ram, and graphics cards a grand total of $800 at least. A console on the other hand is intended to cost $500 or less, and includes peripherals and uses a standard television. Why so low cost? because these are specialised machines to do one job, and to have mass appeal, which means they can't be priced so much that the average consumer thinks too much about the expense, we are after all talking about a machine for playing games, with other features only niceties. That puts a limit on how much horsepower can be put into a console. The Razr Edge is a good example, it costs $1000 and is basically a handheld console with substantial graphical power (by the standards of the WGSS). The market for it is as you might expect for the cost, very small, not many have actually been sold. The PS4 by comparison has sold one million units, and costs only $399 or your regional equivalent before VAT. You simply cannot economically put a 3.0Ghz Quad Core i7 and two GTX Titans in a console and get it made cheaply enough to get it for sale under $500. Decisions have to be made, because a console isn't just the chips, it's the case and the UI and the code underlying it. A windows box on the other hand has much freer economics because additional parts are self-selected, a user chooses to upgrade a card or not, a user chooses to upgrade an OS or not. This creates problems once games come into the picture.
How so? So we don't get ahead of ourselves, let's start with graphics. At the present time the Windows Gaming Snob Society claims that a game is unplayable crap unless it runs at 1080p and 60fps. That kind of performance costs money, keeping in mind the upper limit of $500, it's very hard to do. 720p and 60fps or 720p and 30fps are much more economical, but those numbers are likely to earn the developer the scorn of the Windows Gaming Snob Society, at least until 4k Graphics come onto the scene in large numbers, when 1080p becomes unplayable. It doesn't make economical sense for the developer to make one version of the software with one set of graphics and one for another version. Frankly it's expensive and time consuming enough to optimise the game for Windows.
Optimisation is a significant problem for windows, because installed software negatively affects the game. Hardware as well negatively affects the game, and the developer must engineer the game to run well without knowing what the user has on their machine or what updates microsoft will release. Add to that the economic interests of hardware developers who push for the game to run with their hardware, but because of the Windows gaming environment, the game must still run with the competing product. All that work costs a lot of money, and if they happen to choose to optimise their game around a theoretical setup, which a user doesn't have, which causes the game to not function as the user expects it to, they declare the game broken garbage and take to the internet to announce it to the world without considering the fault could lie with them and their hardware. Frankly the thought never enters their minds because their hardware is obviously the best hardware in existence and it contains the best software in existence, and this game should run best on their hardware. As a result the developer is pressured to spend more money and time optimising the game for a small minority of the market.
Cost to the user. This is a favourite topic of the Windows Gaming Snob Society. They boast proudly that their god Gabe Newell has created Steam, an online marketplace for games which offers games at lower prices than often the same game would cost for a console user. Unfortunately for the developers this is economic suicide. In order to get their games on this marketplace they have to comply with the terms of service, and allow their software to be sold at discounts. It's good news for the consumer, but remember that the developer is obligated to provide technical support and patches for the software to optimise it for the consumer, which costs money, money the developer is not getting out of the purchase cost of the game. It helps the consumer, but the developer takes a smaller piece of a smaller pie, and is obligated to spend more on that pie, or suffer the marketing consequences of low ratings, and negative press, it doesn't make economic sense.
With all the reasons not to release a game for the windows platform, why would a developer do so? They do it for two reasons, firstly the Windows gaming market is not insignificant, and second if they don't the WGSS will immediately petition the developer to release it on Windows, which starts the whole cycle of spending on support. To make up the difference, developers lean on console users with higher prices, fewer discounts, and in game microtransactions. Developers have tried to put the same sort of systems in the Windows versions of their games, see Sim City, but the WGSS very quickly rebelled at the notion of it, forcing the developer to backtrack, the same thing happened with Diablo III and Dead Space 3 on the Windows platform. So, why not develop for the Windows platform exclusively, and release a console version later. Profit margins are lower, remember, and the market is smaller, and developers who fail to spend enough can experience very negative press very quickly. Some companies have managed relative success with a game here and there with Windows exclusives, but look at the list: Starcraft II, WoW, WoT, Dota, LoL, and TF2. Every single one of those was, with the exception of WoT, born of an older game released long ago which was itself very popular.
In conclusion, we find that Windows game development costs more at the inception, costs continue over longer periods, and profit margins are lower, and the demand for developers to meet an hypothetical and shifting standard of graphical fidelity results in more mainstream games with more micro-transactions, and higher prices. Resulting in more bankruptcies and more virtually identical games. Screw the Windows Gaming Snob Society, and if Microsoft wants to end support for Windows gaming in Windows 8, or is hostile to Steam, more power to them.
For $200 you can get a PS3 with all of it's games, then spend $400 on a laptop that can't run games but can do almost any productivity task you ask of it, in the end you've spent half of what a Windows Gaming Snob Society Member spends on their gaming rig, and in a round about way, you've helped the developers more.