Don't confuse this echo chamber with gamers in general.
Other gamers buy new games.
Young folks who live minimalist lives will pay full price for digital new releases too.
Unless the 'Top Selling' Steam games tab is completely full of shit, all of the notable new releases are always populating that list as well.
"Top selling" is a list of games that are selling the most that week in order. Yes, the newer ones will be the top selling ones on the latest lists. That doesn't mean they sold anything substantial, just that they sold the most.
Let's look at some top-selling titles.
Assassin's Creed: Origins
PS4 sales: 4.06 million, PC sales: 0.10 million
Call of Duty: Black Ops III:
PS4 Sales: 9.3 million, XBO sales: 4.84 million, PC sales: 0.13 million.
Far Cry 5
PS4 Sales: 3.95 million, XBO sales: 1.78 million, PC sales: 0.07 million.
It's not that the playerbase isn't there. Apex Legends reached, apparently, millions of PC players in its first week. Because it's F2P.
Any time a developer points out what a joke it is to try to release new, narrative based content on the PC, that's not based on micro-transactions or F2P, we just jam our fingers in our ears and shout the messenger down.
This is the page you want to look at to see what PC gamers buy new:
If PC gamers are buying any new titles at any substantial numbers, then you will find those titles on that list. So, if you see any new titles on there that are sold at a full retail price, then congratulations, you've found a title PC gamers will actually buy new. Also: the sun has frozen over.
On PS4, Xbox One, Switch, they publish lists of top played games, and it's always brand new titles that are selling at full retail prices. Red Dead Redemption II, God of War, Assassin's Creed: Origins, etc. There are always some mainstays like FIFA, GTA V, etc. But comparing top played games on consoles and top played games on PC makes it very apparent: PC gamers don't buy new games.
They are just different beasts, and the Steam Awards is a very poignant representation of that. To succeed on PC, you need to sell very low levels of a game consistently, at low prices, for a very long period of time. Or have a consistent stream of microtransaction money for a long period of time. You are not going to hype up a big release and then make tons of money on that initial release at full retail price. The initial first-week sales at full retail price will all be on console.