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PC Games (Games) Hardware

Steam Survey Takes PC Gaming's Pulse 172

Posted by Zonk
from the what's-under-the-hood dept.
Via Rock Paper Shotgun and Primotech, the latest in Valve's ongoing PC hardware survey via the Steam service. Some very interesting stuff in there, though probably nothing too surprising. From RPS's analysis: "Vista has shown a small increase in representation, but clearly nowhere near where Microsoft would have desperately hoped. Previously 7.99% of gamers were using the latest operating system. Now it's 16.91%, with a vast 81.13% sticking with XP. Rather confirming Valve's position on DX10, and what a massive waste of time it is developing for Vista only."
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Steam Survey Takes PC Gaming's Pulse

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  • by Dunkz (901542) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:12PM (#21353891)
    If it hasn't become apparent that DX10 is not a reason folks will "upgrade" to Vista by now I don't know what else to say.

    They should allow XP users to download and use DX10 as they have all along for other revisions of DirectX.
    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:23PM (#21354043)
      I'm hoping that with DX10 as a dead end and openGL available for everyone while still progressing that we'll see more open work in the future. I also want world peace, true love and a pony.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)
      Vista reminds me of a song from the 80s called "Gloria"

      specifically the line:
      "If everybody wants you, why isn't anybody calling?"
    • by Chosen Reject (842143) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:30PM (#21354145)
      This might sound odd, but if DX10 was available on XP, I would be more willing to look into Vista. By keeping DX10 Vista only, they tell me there is nothing in Vista worth upgrading to except DX10, but if it's on XP, then they are saying Vista can stand on its own compared to XP.

      Granted, it still wouldn't get me to buy it, but that would remove at least one barrier.
      • by plague3106 (71849)
        This might sound odd, but if DX10 was available on XP, I would be more willing to look into Vista. By keeping DX10 Vista only, they tell me there is nothing in Vista worth upgrading to except DX10, but if it's on XP, then they are saying Vista can stand on its own compared to XP.

        That's just stupid logic. Keeping feature x restricted to the new OS means there aren't any other features in Vista? Who would upgrade just for DX10 anyway? You REALLY think MS was hoping people would?

        I believe they were hoping t
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Chosen Reject (842143)
          You are right in that keeping feature X restricted to an OS does not by itself say there isn't any other reason to upgrade. But when feature X has historically not been restricted to the new OS, then it does start to look like that. Then you have the OS and feature X maker claiming that it is for technical reasons, yet you have the Alky Project that has a version (admittedly alpha) of feature X working on the restricted OS even though they don't have the source code to actually do proper porting, then it
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by plague3106 (71849)
            Even if there's no technical reason, your logic is still faulty. Feature X is ONE OF MANY new features. That doesn't mean its the only reason the new version is worthwhile, it is there to ADD to the list of features that make the new version worthwhile.

            Take a vacuum cleaner; a newer model has a more powerful motor that would work perfectly in the older model. In addition, there are more attachments (or whatever) that actually do only work with the newer model. The older model is still in use, and they c
            • by grahamd0 (1129971) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:23PM (#21354925)
              Bravo. I wish there was a "+1 Didn't use a car analogy" mod.
            • by Chosen Reject (842143) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:34PM (#21355049)
              The reason they won't backport DX10 is to make it an incentive to buy Vista, of this there is no doubt. However, MS has always backported new versions of DX to their previous releases. The latest nonDX10 version is available for Windows 98 for crying out loud. So now you have a feature that has never been (Windows) OS dependent that suddenly becomes so for "technical reasons," but every day we learn more and more that it was a complete lie. That says to me that it is one of Vista's only selling points. If there really were technical reasons then I could accept that. If it weren't technical reasons and they never said that it was, then I might think differently. Unfortunately, they lied that it was technical reasons when it really wasn't. That says to me that Vista has nothing worth upgrading for except DX10.

              Both of those concepts have to be realized together. They've always backported DirectX to their supported systems AND they lied that it was technical reasons they couldn't do it this time. Why are they lying? If they had just come right out and said "DirectX 10 is only on Vista so that we can add another reason to the already long list of worthy upgrades" then I would understand that, but that's not what they did. They came out and gave us the lie "We aren't going to backport DX10 like we've done with all other versions because it's technically not possible." That says to me that they don't have a long list of reasons to upgrade, they have DX10.

              That said, even if they did backport it and admit they lied, I still wouldn't buy Vista.
              • by plague3106 (71849)
                I don't know how people manage to get insightful for illogical crap.

                I can't explain it any other way, but not backporting DX doesn't logically lead to DX10 is the only reason to upgrade to Vista. Of course they may have lied; they simply were trying to avoid angering those that expected DX10 to be backported. People would accept that MS doesn't want to backport because technologically its not possible or too difficult; they'd be upset if they just came out and said "we don't want to so that we can have o
        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          That's just stupid logic. Keeping feature x restricted to the new OS means there aren't any other features in Vista? Who would upgrade just for DX10 anyway? You REALLY think MS was hoping people would?
          Abso-friggin'-lutely. I keep seeing ads from MS bragging about how I need Vista "to get the most from the newest, greatest games"
      • by homer_ca (144738)
        Don't worry, if they don't have the carrot of DX10, they'll still have the stick of support end-of-life to force upgrades. Have fun surfing the net with an unpatched, EOL OS. I know XP won't be end of life until 2012, but four years isn't a whole lot of time to release Windows 7 if Vista bombs and everybody skips it.
    • It might happen, but to do so Microsoft would either have to admit that they lied when they claimed that DX10 could not be made to work on XP, or come up with some creative new lie about why it suddenly can. They have no real incentive to do this; it's not as if they care about their XP customers.
      • by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:47PM (#21354421) Journal
        As DX10 is implemented now, it can't work on XP, since relies on Vista usermode drivers. They can port it, feature for feature, of course (and some enterprising folks apparently already have to some degree).

        Besides, we're all pretty used to companies changing their stories [penny-arcade.com]. We let 'em have their justifications as long as they deliver.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        They have no real incentive to do this; it's not as if they care about their customers.

        There, fixed that for you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dr. Eggman (932300)
      As much as I would like to see it happen, there actually are technical challenges to just straight getting Direct3D 10 on XP. While we certainly now know that it is possible to see the same pretty graphics, Direct3D 10 itself is not a possibility on XP without major overhauls. Shiny DirectX 10 Graphics you get from Direct3D 10 are, but not Direct3D 10 itself, since Microsoft has zero incentive to do the kind of work necessary to get it to work on XP, no matter how small Vista usage is. This Beyond3D [beyond3d.com] article
    • by bigdavex (155746)

      If it hasn't become apparent that DX10 is not a reason folks will "upgrade" to Vista by now I don't know what else to say.

      They should allow XP users to download and use DX10 as they have all along for other revisions of DirectX.

      If DX10 is valuable to the gamer, couldn't MS license it the game companies?
         
    • I'd say the Vista numbers are uinder represented. When I took the hardware survey it didn't complete - I assume something to do with not running as an administrator. Others may have had the same problem.
  • Those numbers in a vacuum don't mean anything though. What was the upgrade rate from ME/2k to XP? Also, I don't know whether they do or not, but if they're complaining about developing only for Vista, I sure hope they don't have anything that is *nix/Mac compatible, as Vista easily beat every flavor of those.
    • Those numbers in a vacuum don't mean anything though. What was the upgrade rate from ME/2k to XP? Also, I don't know whether they do or not, but if they're complaining about developing only for Vista, I sure hope they don't have anything that is *nix/Mac compatible, as Vista easily beat every flavor of those.
      Steam is Windows only, so I'd be suprised if you see any numbers for mac or linux. (Okay, they have linux versions of their dedicated server software)
    • What was the upgrade rate from ME/2k to XP?

      Considering that Steam didn't exist until a few years after XP launched, you're going to be hard-pressed to find that data. In any case, I don't think that the numbers are completely useless - from my experience, my friends who are hardcore PC gamers are the only ones who rush out to upgrade right away. Everyone else just seems to wait until they have to buy a new computer, at which point Vista isn't optional anymore.

      There are reasons to upgrade to Vista...they j
  • by Nos. (179609) <andrew@nospaM.thekerrs.ca> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:16PM (#21353931) Homepage
    Its interesting to compare some of the results from the Spring 2007 survey (http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey_v6.html):
    • RAM went way up, almost 1/2 are using 2GB or more.
    • AMD is losing more ground with Intel up almost 4%
    • Almost 1/2 of gamers are using more than one physical CPU now (which includes dual/quad core)
    • Nvidia has taken a bigger lead at the expense of ATI
    Obviously an increase in system RAM and CPU numbers/speed is expected, but this is only over about a 6 month period.
    • Two words: Summer Jobs. Kids who can't afford to upgrade very often are going to make huge leaps, but only when they have the money to do so. Many of them probably saw the awesome lineup coming for the fall and set about saving up during their summer job to update their systems.
    • by sznupi (719324)
      No offense, but anybody modding you "informative" should have his /. account suspended...

      LOOK AT THE TOTAL NUMBERS!!! This new survey has just started! The previous one had a little over ONE MILLION systems surveyed. This one - only 50 THOUSAND so far. 50 thousand of systems/users who log in most frequently. Who are the most "die hard" (whatever that means) players. OF COURSE they have better systems...

      I know statistics are hard...but this is /. (and the factor I'm talking about above is pretty basic one)

      PS
  • by My name is Bucket (1020933) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:18PM (#21353953)
    I was much more fascinated/saddened/aroused by the fact that I instantly knew the TF2 screenshot from the article was in Dustbowl-- right around the corner from the final cap-- and was on to estimating that Spy's chance of survival (noticing that the sentry hasn't tracked him yet).
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by 4D6963 (933028)

      I was much more fascinated/saddened/aroused by the fact that I instantly knew the TF2 screenshot from the article was in Dustbowl-- right around the corner from the final cap-- and was on to estimating that Spy's chance of survival (noticing that the sentry hasn't tracked him yet).

      Wow, yeah.. Makes me wanna stay away from that game now.

  • Missing data? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:22PM (#21354017) Homepage Journal
    Last time I saw this, the screen resolution section listed 1280x800, but not 1280x960. Now it lists 1280x960, but not 1280x800. And it has never listed 1280x1024, which happens to be the resolution that over 90% of the steam users that i know use. The "Other" category is not large enough to cover these discrepancies. And, to top that off, there isnt even a category for 5:4 aspect monitor sizes. Are those people getting lumped into the 4:3 ratio section? WTF all around
    • by Winckle (870180)
      I'm with you on that one, until last week I used 1280x1024, it's a common resolution on cheap 19" monitors, or in my case an old expensive 17" monitor.

      I use 1440x900 now, the default res on a macbook pro.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sascha J. (803853)
      There's more missing in fact. They could list the amount of WINE users playing their games on a non-windows system, emulating via WINE.

      When I took the survey and browsed through the gathered information it would send to Valve, I saw that for the audio driver or chipset (don't remember exactly) it lists something like "WINE input wrapper" or something like that. This would be an easy measure to see who's using WINE and who's not.
  • Not that I don't agree with the article but I run steam using wine and it doesn't show that I am using Ubuntu on Valve's survey statistics. Also not all gamers play steam games so you're only measuring their own player base.

    I still agree with the conclusion building your game just for one OS is just stupid if you want to make money.
    • I still agree with the conclusion building your game just for one OS is just stupid if you want to make money.

      Valve doesn't seem hard-pressed there.

      And while they might not support the minority that use Linux and Apple OSes, I would assume that supporting the consoles instead (which they are doing) would bring in more money. Much more money.
      • by LingNoi (1066278) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:14PM (#21354791)

        And while they might not support the minority that use Linux and Apple OSes, I would assume that supporting the consoles instead (which they are doing) would bring in more money. Much more money.
        Indeed, there is no question that consoles is where they make the most money on a AAA title.

        I bet you if there was an officially supported version of steam that ran on Linux (via wine or whatever) it would have a higher percentage of use then Vista has as most Linux users are computer enthusiasts and gamers. Although Macs probably have a bigger user base not many are gamers.
  • by taquitosgmail.com (876560) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:37PM (#21354253)
    I recently (less than a week ago) built a gaming machine for my birthday and decided to buy Vista Ultimate. Strangely, I couldn't get the HL survey uploader to send the data back to Valve. Everything else works just fine though. Maybe other people are having similar issues? for the curious its running on an E6850, 2GB 1066, 500gb, 8800GTS-640oc. I really wanted to upload the info to help skew the results :)
    • I wasn't able to submit the Steam survey either for some reason. I'm running Windows XP and I was able to successfully submit these surveys in the past. Maybe one of their servers was having trouble or something.
  • Dos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:38PM (#21354269) Journal

    Falcon 3.0 (please don't hang me on the number at my age the mind is becoming more and more like a) required me to upgrade to a new Dos. (5?)I did. (legally too)

    That was the last time a game pushed me on a new MS release.

    Back then 99% of games were DOS, only a handfull of games required Windows (3.X) and most DOS games ran a lot faster without windows loaded.

    This didn't change for a long time even with the release of Windows 95. Quake was an important game back then,and running it under 95 just meant you sacrificed a lot memory the game could have been using. There was no benefit I can remember, and so I stuck with DOS for a long time. I have no recollection how long it took between 95's release and me finally getting and seeing games that were WIN95 only AND worth it. But it was at least a year.

    Remember that dos to WIN95 was a HUGE change.

    DirectX must have been introduced at some time, but I don't recall it being widely used until it was a couple of major releases old. Even MS own games didn't use it for a long time. MS Flightsimulator and Close Combat come to mind. In fact, MS games were notorious for being rather primitive, Close Combat was one of those games were you had to manuall set the desktop to reduced colors, this was AFTER DirectX had gotten some traction.

    But we moved away from DOS, we now have DirectX games mostly and one day Vista will be the norm and so will DirectX 10, because just as games once become Windows9X only and games became DirectX only, so will they become Vista only and DirectX10 only.

    The article notes that Vista has only 18% users. This is very noteworthy, but check the chart, how many Windows 9X users? For that many 2000 users? 9X ain't even listed, 2000 doesn't even get a full percentage.

    Remember all the people who said they would stick with 9X or 2K? Where are they now? Not on steam at least.

    We move on. I won't be getting Vista for a while, I like my linux desktop and for games I don't need it. Yet.

    I think the biggest thing hurting MS at the moment is NOT Vista's tech woes, but something far more deadly. It is piracy. It ain't there. I am a freak for trying the latest software, but I also hate cripple ware and store bought machines, so I either look at spending a couple of hundred euro's on Vista because all the pirated versions seem to have problems.

    How much of MS old early adoptor market consisted of pirates? I got 95Se 98 98SE 2K etc ALL from that subscription thing an old employer had. Illegal, sure. But those machines showed up in surveys like this. How any Steam players would run Vista if they could?

    More and more games will be directx 10, or will look at their best in directx10. Support for XP will dry up, new computers will come with Vista pre-installed and people will move on.

    Just as we did before.

    The only difference as I have said is that this time it will be a lot harder to do it without paying MS, and for some of us, that is a big hurdle. I wouldn't mind trying Vista, it is not like I use my gaming machine for anything critical, but not for the current price tag.

    But some day? Sure, if I can find an unused key somewhere for a non-crippled version. Because lets admit it, I want to see how shiny it is. Precious...

    • Re:Dos (Score:4, Insightful)

      by lgw (121541) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:01PM (#21355387) Journal
      Early DX was not in the kernel, and so was too slow for a FPS, and game studios ignored it. Starcraft was the first game I can rememeber running under DX, and was certainly the best game available for NT 4.0 in its day.

      Eventually MS moved DX into the kernel, and suddenly games ran fine under DX and everyone switched. DX quickly overcame OpenGL in popularity. This was the age of DX.

      Now history repeats, and DX10 is back out of the kernel (user-mode driver architecture) and it's slow and game studios are ignoring it. What were the odds?
    • by ZorbaTHut (126196)
      The one big advantage that you had running Quake under Windows was that it made TCP/IP network play a whole hell of a lot easier. That's why I did it, and that's why most people did it.

      Single-player there wasn't a lot of reason for it, however.
  • That's about as much use as developing for Linux only! Except in one years time 30% will be able to play your game.
  • So it's been just under a year and we're finding that Vista user growth is slowly increasing. Some users may refuse to upgrade out of principle, other are like me and waiting it out. I don't really find the results that surprising.

    I've got XP SP2 on my gaming rig and I don't see myself upgrading to Vista anytime soon. I may do so in time when there are a couple games that I consider must haves available only on Vista. But I just don't see the point in spending money on a new OS when I don't feel there ar
    • Depends on a number of things case in point, I use a mic and run 5.1 speakers on my rig. My brother and alot of his friends though don't have speakers and instead use USB headsets for both communication and sound. Running a mic means you may pickup noise from your speakers or even feedback. Running a headset and a lack of speakers makes this a non problem.
    • by tcolberg (998885)
      If you use speakers with your desktop mic, you'll blow out the eardrums of your teammates with sound from your speakers. I use a headset with my setup, but my brother uses Sennheiser HD580s with a desktop mic. Either method is preferred because it prevents feedback.
  • after having actually used Vista on my nephew's computer, my GOD I hate it. It's like MS asked all their designers, "Hey guys, what are some of the most stupid changes you could think of to make to our interface?" and then when ahead and did them. I already knew about the performance issues, and the infamous 'cancel or allow', but the interface changes are absolutely moronic in many cases. They changed many things simply because they wanted something different by the looks of it, and in most cases in a v
    • I can't really agree with your assessment, I find that Vista is either the same in terms of usability, or better, than XP. I do feel the need to point out, however, that Word has nothing whatsoever to do with Vista. Don't lump it all in together.
  • Oh, this is so great. I _just_ wanted to rant about Windows Vista. Alright, let me explain this to everyone from the beginning:

    Since the release of Windows Vista, I've always been hating it. I told my customers to not upgrade to Vista and to stick with XP. Whenever I heard anyone in stores talking about Vista, I immediately explained why Vista is not superior to XP. I have installed Windows Vista numerous times inside of virtual computers to try it out.

    This week, I decided to do the extreme test. Install Wi
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Ok, there are valid complaints about Vista, but your post doesn't really include much substance.

      1) Performance!
      The darn thing gobs up 600MB of RAM when it has nothing open, and even more when you open up applications. The bootup time is slow and the whole system feels very slow. This is unacceptable. This is bloated code to hell.


      As other people have said, this is due to pre-caching files you're likely to need in the near future. Guess what: blank RAM is useless RAM! There's no reason for ANY OS to keep ANY
      • I'm not going to respond to any complaints about Vista running on hardware made by a competitor with an BIOS emulation/driver set made by a competitor. Try Vista on an actual PC, then come back and let us know how much you hate it. (Since you obviously wouldn't change your mind.)

        I think I'll finally reply to one of these. Before I begin in on why I dislike Vista, I'd like to note that I am not a fervent Linux user. I've used Windows for most of my life, and I'm perfectly happy with XP. That said, I wasn't actually expecting Vista to be bad.

        But it was. Oh, it was. I bought a new computer a few months back (a pretty decent Acer), and it came with Vista pre-loaded. I'd actually already installed an illegal version of Vista on another PC purely out of curiosity. When it didn'

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          For the record, on my new Dell with Vista Home Premium (then upgraded to Ultimate) I don't see the following:

          # Sound -- even on a pre-configured system, the sound system would SKIP worse than a 90s CD player if you tried to, say, move a window. Also, during MP3 playback, my shiny new CPU would spik to 75% usage. Joy.
          # Dual monitor support -- I have used two monitors for quite a while -- it's a godsend. Vista liked to forget all of my dual-monitor settings with every resolution change and restart, which is i
          • Yeah, it wasn't even that I thought all of these problems were insurmountable -- they were just a super pain in the ass. I mean, come on -- the system was supposed to be preconfigured! No matter whether it's the software vendor's fault or whatever, that makes almost no difference to me; I just want it to work. The fact that what I need or want to use doesn't work or doesn't work right makes it an inferior product in my book.

            I also use fast user-switching in XP, and a non-admin acct for most apps (sepa
            • by Blakey Rat (99501)
              Nah, your opinion is fine. Really, Microsoft's biggest image problem is that they frankly don't have a lot of control of what their end customers see. No matter how great their product is (and I'm not saying it's great), Dell or HP or Toshiba or whoever can completely eff it up before it's delivered, and there's nothing MS can do about it. (Well, they've started to be more strict about signed drivers and the such...)
    • Wow, you installed Vista in a VM and expect that to be representative of the average Vista user's experience? No offence, but presumably Vista was not coded for running inside virtual environments, and doing so is likely to introduce more bugs than if you were running it on real hardware. Vista has it's problems but running it in a way it wasn't designed to run and then calling foul when it doesn't work correctly doesn't cut any ice with me. I'll go through your problems one by one: 1) This sounds like an
      • Crap, let's try that again.

        Wow, you installed Vista in a VM and expect that to be representative of the average Vista user's experience?
        No offence, but presumably Vista was not coded for running inside virtual environments, and doing so is likely to introduce more bugs than if you were running it on real hardware. Vista has it's problems but running it in a way it wasn't designed to run and then calling foul when it doesn't work correctly doesn't cut any ice with me.

        I'll go through your problems one by one:
  • This is a pretty common native resolution for a great many of those 17" and 19" screens that are so popular, yet it doesn't even show up in the list. Is Valves methodology flawed, or are there really only 430 people (out of potentially 8000 or so) using the native resolution on their screen?
    • This is a pretty common native resolution for a great many of those 17" and 19" screens that are so popular, yet it doesn't even show up in the list.

      It still shows up on the list, just not where you might expect:

      Primary Display Resolution (60024 Users)
      800 x 600 835 1.39 %
      1024 x 768 16,957 28.25 %
      1152 x 864 2,923 4.87 %
      1280 x 960 23,691 39.47 %
      1440 x 900 4,589 7.65 %
      1600 x 1200 1,510 2.52 %
      1680 x 1050 6,740 11.23 %
      1920 x 1200 1,872 3.12 %
      Other 907 1.51 %

      • by johannesg (664142)
        That's the number I was referring to, although it showed only 430 when I was looking. And I think it is ridiculously low. I just find it incredibly hard to believe that almost everyone with a TFT would choose to run in a non-native resolution. The image quality degrades so badly I find it almost useless (well, for text - I suppose gaming is not so bad), and yet almost everyone does it? So either: 1. People just don't care about bad image quality (hard to believe, given how much they spend on graphics card
  • by gblackwo (1087063) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:55PM (#21355301) Homepage
    My gaming rig is running vista. Let me explain first that 64bit vista is leaps and bounds better than 64bit XP. So my powerhouse computer when it isn't gaming can put that 64bit goodness to use in the realm of digital audio, and CAD. On the otherhand- I have 4 gigs of ram and an O.Ced E6600. I see so many users with their new laptops that really shouldn't be running vista on their half gig of ram. etc.
  • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:07PM (#21355467)
    Vista has shown a small increase in representation, but clearly nowhere near where Microsoft would have desperately hoped. Previously 7.99% of gamers were using the latest operating system. Now it's 16.91%, with a vast 81.13% sticking with XP.

    This is the most ridiculous take on Vista I have heard yet.

    20% of gamers migrate to a new and more demanding OS in less than one year and this is supposed to be bad news for Vista?

    • by juuri (7678)
      20% of gamers migrate to a new and more demanding OS in less than one year and this is supposed to be bad news for Vista?

      Well yes, considering PC gamers are early adopters and spend far more on software/hardware than any other part of the consumer PC segment; It's not a very high rate of conversation.
      • On hardware, yes. On software (not counting games), I've never found this to be the case. Every single gamer I've ever run across sticks with their OS version of choice for forever, and upgrades only when they have to (or get a new version for free). I think you overestimate how far ahead of the OS upgrade curve gamers are.
      • by Shados (741919)
        I think a heck of a lot of people forget how stupidly long it took for people to move away from the Windows 9x serie (including ME, ugh) to the NT/2k/XP line, even if you only count from the day XP came out (since the previous two werent as home oriented).

        The amount of machines I had to reload 9x on during those days was crazy. "My DOS games don't work WAAAAH!".

        It seems worse this time around because A) XP actually doesn't suck, like the 9x serie did, and B) it was by far the largest gap between 2 OS releas
  • by Rog7 (182880)
    Why is it that Slashdot always posts the Steam Survey when it gets recycled? The survey was just restarted and has been running for less than a day, you're currently looking at about 3% of what their overall results will be.

    Sure, you can form a few opinions and conjecture over a sampling of 30k, but then again, over the course of less than a full day (AFAIK it was recycled at midnight), you're not even looking at the players from prime-time yet.

    More appropriate numbers will be known after a month or two.
  • by feepness (543479) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:54PM (#21356853) Homepage
    Here is an exchange that just completed today. I purchased Company of Heores: Opposing Fronts off steam. It hung as detailed below. Never worked. I spent about three hours trying to fix it before buying a retail copy which worked immediately.

    Me: 10/30/07 This game hangs at the "Preparing to launch..." from Steam. I tried verifying it, un-installing it, re-installing it, but no success. I even looked on the forums and tried a few things from there with no luck. I would like a refund for this game and for it to be removed from my account. Thanks.

    Steam: 11/08/07 Hello, Have you already gone through this FAQ?

    Me: 11/08/07 Hi there. I tried reading the FAQ and the forums and spent two or three hours on it. Here's a link to the thread on your forums with the list of many people who had the same problem:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=617610 [steampowered.com]

    I gave up and purchased a physical copy.

    I think Steam is great for Valve Games and has worked well with older games. I would love to keep using it, but will need Company of Heroes: Opposing Forces removed and refunded.

    Thanks.

    Steam: 11/09/07 Hello XXXXXX, I see many mentions of Vista in that Forum post. If you installed Steam when UAC was enabled, there is a reasonable likelihood that UAC prevent a few keys from being properly generated. Assuming that you have already attempted to disable UAC to fix the issue, please try re-installing Steam with UAC disabled. Please use the latest Steam installer:
    http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=getsteamnow&cc=US [steampowered.com]

    You may prevent all of your game files from being lost by moving the Steamapps folder out of the steam directory before uninstalling and putting it back after re-installing.

    If the issue persists, please right-click on the game and go to Properties > Local Content > Verify Game Cache, and try again.

    Finally, the the following suggestion is usually used for a specifie error message, but I would be very interested to know if this affects the issue you are experiencing:

    Vista Home Users
    Go to: Start > Run and type in: cmd
    type in the following:
    net localgroup Administrators /add Local service
    Restart your computer.
    Vista Business & Ultimate Users
    Right-click on Computer and select Manage.
    Go to: Groups > Administrators > Add to group > Add > Advanced > Find Now > Local Service and click OK.
    Restart your computer.

    Me: 11/09/07 I already tried several things before to get it to work, including messing about with UAC, finding the key, and verifying the local game files, etc... I'm sorry, but as I said I purchased a physical copy a week ago and I'm not interested in using Steam for COF:OF at this point.

    Here are my choices:

    1) Get a refund, continue to use Steam to purchase Valve products and other games after reading the steampowered forum to ensure other people are successful using them. Share my experience with other gamers.
    2) Do a chargeback, at which point I am assuming my Steam account will be disabled from what I've read online. Share my experience with other gamers.

    As I also said, I would very much like to continue using Steam. I haven't yet chosen whether to buy Orange Box. At this point Valve's response will be a deciding factor.

    Thanks,

    Steam: 11/13/07:Hello,

    As requested, we have processed a refund to your account.

    Your confirmation number is: XXXXX

    Your bank or credit card issuer will return the funds to your account - please allow 3-5 business days for the funds to be posted.

    Please note in the future that Steam purchases, per the Steam Subscriber Agreement, are not refunda

    • by sherriw (794536)
      While I agree that being unable to get a refund for a non-working game is a load of BS, I'm not sure why you are surprised. If I buy a physical game from a store and open the box, at that point I am unable to get a refund. I can get an exchange for scratched disks, but if the game doesn't work on my machine then I'm out of luck.

      I have a stack of games that were opened but failed to install because my previous computer was a piece of crap.

      Purchasing from Steam is the same thing- once you have the game, you c
      • by feepness (543479)

        Anyway, why pick on Steam for refusing to refund a game? You should be picking on every game retailer online or off.
        I can resell a game that doesn't work on ebay. If it's in new condition, and near release, for very near what I paid for it. It's easy to do as well because Ebay has specific categories for it.

        With Steam I had no recourse, not even an exchange.
  • XP vs Vista (Score:3, Informative)

    by Odin_Tiger (585113) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @08:08PM (#21356999) Journal
    This survey is still in progress. As time goes on, I'm already seeing the percentage of Vista users going down. Right now, it's 15.35%, over a full percent drop from what was in the story summary.
    • by Rhys (96510)
      Worse the number of vista users who actually have a DX10 capable card is down around 8%.

  • Obviosly, if your Hardware supports it, and you run as Administrator, you can get DirectX 10 level graphics from a DirectX 10 capable Video card.

    But:

    DX9 has a bajillion extensions, shader model revisions, and lots of flags that drivers can set to say they support HDR, or AA, or both, etc. etc. If a feature is on your hardware, but DX9 dosn't support it, you can code to the metal and get the same visual effect.

    But, if you want to do it as an ordinary user, without crashing the machine, DirectX 10 is nice.

    And
  • but what's the motivation for posting a story with a summary sounding like it came from the fingers of some angry, frustrated teen who just compiled his kernel?

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.

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