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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 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 Chosen Reject (842143) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:52PM (#21354489)
    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 really starts to look like the only reason for feature X being restricted is to make the new OS actually worth anything.
  • Re:Waste of time? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @04:59PM (#21354597)
    You think 9% of gamers is too low to mess with, but Mac/Linux gamers (not just users), which is bound to be even lower, is worth it somehow? Your logic confuses me.
  • 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 plague3106 (71849) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @05:15PM (#21354799)
    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 could sell the motor to people that had it, so does that mean the other new features on the new vacuum aren't worthwhile? Of course not.
  • 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.
  • Re:Vacuum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by C0rinthian (770164) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @06:00PM (#21355365)

    There are actually a good amount of us Linux Gamers. We use WINE to run them. Our numbers wont show up in steam as Linux, because the OS detection wont detect it as Linux. Some Mac people also do this. If companies would use OpenGL instead of DirectX, it would be very easy to port the game to a different OS, it would mostly be recompiling source code. If companies would start being smart and not making their software for only Windows, they would make a lot more money.
    You missed my point. GP stated that Mac/linux showed lower numbers than Vista. I pointed out that is because Valve doesn't make anything for Mac/Linux. (hence no users)

    I'm well aware of the existance of linux and mac gamers. I personally use a Mac. And your post simply reinforces my opinion that WINE is a bad thing. Why should software manufacturers make platform agnostic code when users are willing to run under Cedega/WINE?
  • 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 bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @07:35PM (#21356637)
    I find the sound produced by my mobo's onboard audio quite acceptable. I have no issue with buying parts, but I need to see benefit: I see no benefit in upgrading to a nice sound card. Gamer, after all, does not necessarily imply audiophile, nor does it imply someone who buys stuff just because it's there.
  • Re:Waste of time? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by J23SE (107309) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @11:55PM (#21359205)
    You're waaaay underestimating the projected spread of Vista. Most new computers sold are on Vista, and most new high end cards support DX10. At the rate technology is progressing, all cards will soon (2-3 years, if that) be DX10 capable, and in a few years Vista will become ubiquitous. You will see most users taking advantage of DX10 way sooner than you think.

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