I think that the release of the 4770 is an important moment for computer gaming. The biggest problem with pc gaming right now is that it takes a specialized computer to play the current games. A regular Dell computer can not play today's games out of the box. In order to get a gaming experience comparable or better than the consoles you can either 1)build you own pc 2)buy a more expensive gaming pc or 3)upgrade you existing pc. The reality is most people are not comfortable opeining their pc and putting in a video card and simply use whatever comes with their machine. So until good video cards get bundled in, pc gaming will suffer.
Right now there is simply not a large market of potential buyers of current pc games. As a result we find fewer and fewer pc exclusives and half a**ed ports. The perfect example of the problems facing pc gaming is GTA 4. Released 6 months later, poorly optimized, steep hardware requirements, and with PC sales only a tiny fraction of the consoles. Its almost to the point where its not worth the effort to bring games over to the pc.
Hopeflly the 4770 and similar cards can start to change this. The card is cheap and has low power requirements (they can use their standard psus) so there is a good chance that Dell, HP, etc will bundle it with their computers. Now people spending less than $1000 on their PC for home/office work, surfing facebook, etc. will have a computer capable of playing games that are on par/better than the consoles.
Ever since the Voodoo2 pc gaming has been segmented with the have and have-nots. And each year the % of have-nots keeps growing. Hopefully the 4770 can bring us back to how it was in the late 90s where everyone could play games with avg settings and a new generation will discover that computer games don't have to be an expensive and technologically exclusive niche. And the enthusiasts here win too, since you get to play these games at is 8xAA and 16xAF @ 1920x1200 on very high settings.
People are entirely uninformed. They'll buy a Dell PC for $800 and it can't play most games. They look at what dell suggests and they see the XPS series for ridiculous prices so they instead spend a few hundred on a console.
What i don't understand, is that for the same $800 they could get a much better PC, add in the money you spend on a console and you have a very good system.
There are other issues though. A lot of people are still afraid to use vista, much less deal with driver issues, firmware updates, etc. PC gaming won't make a comeback until people can buy a PC, pop a disc in, and play it.
EDIT: People also need to understand just HOW much flexibility they gain by having a PC vs a console. HTPC's can be awesome for gaming, watching DVD's/Blu Ray, and recording tv. All this is in addition to the basic abilities.
I don't think any hardware can make (save) or break computer gaming. It's not revolutionary, it's evolutionary.
And really these deals have been available since the R9500Pro, GF6800GS, X1900GT/Pro, GF8800GT, etc.
But as has been mentioned the average buyer is just uninformed, unaware of the value of a whitebox hand-built and how it can be a powerful rig on a low budget.
This always comes up during the console vs PC debates, but when the GF8800GT was under $100, and a good dual core CPU was equally cheap, it really made it quite accesible for even the casual gamer to have a competant rig for a competitive/attractive price.
The main issues right now for PC gaming in my opinion are other items, included a schyzophrenic developer community that loves and hates PCs simultaneously.
Right now the lure of the console dollars is the biggest draw, whether that shift to PCs depends on a lot of things yet to happen.