"The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

State of gamers' hardware
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Permalink

As we enter 2011 it's interesting to once again look at what the average gamer has in his system. A continuing trend is the decline of WinXP in favor of primarily Win7, but to some extent also to Vista. This drop has flattened a bit the last couple of months though. The other trend is that all 64-bit OSes gain and all 32-bit drop. As 2010 closes we land on fairly round numbers. Out of four gamers on Steam two use Window 7, and one on Vista and XP respectively. Two run 64-bit. Three has DX10 systems. 9 of 10 has two or more cores.

In conclusion, for any new AAA title beginning development now there appears to be no reason to aim lower than DX10 and dual/quad core. In a year or so when such a title is released the number of people remaining on XP who buys AAA titles will be a tiny fraction. Quad-core will likely outnumber dual-core machines, although there will likely be a substantial portion of the gamers left on dual-core at that time. It's probably a bit early to go 64-bit exclusive, but looking over a two year development cycle it might be a reasonable thing to do.

After the huge initial success of Steam on Mac it's been sliding back to a 4-5% range, a fair bit lower than overall Mac market share. This was somewhat expected since Mac has no real history as a serious gaming platform, so it's likely that fewer Mac owners are gamers. Steam on Mac is still new though, so it will be interesting to come back in a year or two and see if any of that has changed.

[ 2 comments | Last comment by Gnome (2011-01-05 03:27:58) ]