I'm one of these people who's still stuck in the past, I still look at CvS2, all the mish mash sprites, Alpha sprites, 3rd Strike sprites, new sprites, Morrigans sprite, I look at that game and think "damn, this is one of the best fighting games Capcom have ever made." Yet these days people say "graphics are shit, game's shit, I'm not buying it."
And I can understand from a financial point of view, you wouldn't want to pay $60 for a half assed project, but even the tiniest of things are putting people off. And it's not just new players, it's old school players as well, even they have risen their standards and had enough.
The only thing I can pin point it to is SSF2HDR and the shitty job Udon did on the sprites for that game, that's the only turning point I can think of where players started caring about graphics and stopped playing games. We've got people saying "MvCi graphics are shit, why would you want to play that?" Where as I'd be saying "why would anyone want to be playing USF2."
Does anyone who's old enough remember that point in their life when it clicked and you'd had enough of companies hacking games together?