PS2 the Most Played Console in 2008

PS2 the Most Played Console in 2008

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Media Research giant The Nielsen Company has released its comprehensive Top 10 collection for 2008, revealing (among other things) that despite all the new-and-shiny stuff that came out this past year, most gamers stuck with their old tried-and-true PlayStation 2.

The Nielsen Company has been doing market research since it pretty much invented the concept in 1923 (for our readers not in the US, Nielsen is essentially the bottom line in TV ratings,) and over the years has taken to releasing an annual collection of Top 10 lists covering random statistics for the past year in review. The report for 2008 contains plenty of information, some interesting and some not-so-interesting:

-The four top-rated TV shows were American Idol (& results), and Dancing With the Stars (& results), respectively.
-Superheroes dominated the box office with #1 The Dark Knight and #2 Iron Man.
-99% of all households bought bread and baked products in 2008.

As the videogame industry has become a giant driving market force in its own right in recent years, The Nielsen Company has added gaming Top 10 lists to the collection. Its findings indicate that despite a bevy of newer things to play around with in 2008, gamers preferred the old to the new: the most recent title on the most-played PC game list was from 2007, and - perhaps more surprisingly - the most-played console of the year was Sony's aging PlayStation 2.

Not only did the PS2 come out on top, it came out on top by almost a margin of 2-to-1: 31.7% of playtime, with the Xbox 360 a distant #2 with only 17.2% of the share. The Wii followed up in third place with 13.4%, and the PS3's 7.3% was less than the original Xbox (9.7%) but greater than the GameCube's 4.6%. The remaining 16.2% was attributed to "other consoles."

On the PC side of things, virtual-heroin-in-a-DVD World of Warcraft topped the list, followed by Call of Duty 4, the original Halo, and both Sims games.

Does this mean that gamers really do prefer the old to the new? Or is it simply that the PS2's low price-tag with its massive games library makes it a more appealing choice to families whose leisure budget is being strained by the downturn in the economy?

(Via Videogamer)

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First, Nielson sucks. My hatred for them falls somewhere between the MPAA/RIAA and PETA.

Second, how do they know? To base information on a test-group is always flawed because that group will undoubtedly not actually/accurately represent the rest of the nation, or other nations. And if they're only basing this data on who connects online, then it's again flawed because the number of offline users can drastically skew the results.

Third, what about the DS? You're going to have a hard time convincing me that people were on a whole, playing the DS less than the PS2. The sheer number of hours I've personally logged on my DS dwarfs all my other gameplaying all year. The number of kids (and adults) I see mesmerized by their DS wherever I go never fails to astound me, and I've yet to see anyone lugging around a portable TV to play a PS2 on the bus or waiting in line at the doctor's office.

Fourth, Nielson sucks!

I assusme this is North America only?

Khell_Sennet:
First, Nielson sucks. My hatred for them falls somewhere between the MPAA/RIAA and PETA.

Second, how do they know? To base information on a test-group is always flawed because that group will undoubtedly not actually/accurately represent the rest of the nation, or other nations. And if they're only basing this data on who connects online, then it's again flawed because the number of offline users can drastically skew the results.

Third, what about the DS? You're going to have a hard time convincing me that people were on a whole, playing the DS less than the PS2. The sheer number of hours I've personally logged on my DS dwarfs all my other gameplaying all year. The number of kids (and adults) I see mesmerized by their DS wherever I go never fails to astound me, and I've yet to see anyone lugging around a portable TV to play a PS2 on the bus or waiting in line at the doctor's office.

Fourth, Nielson sucks!

DS aint no1 coz they werent doing handhelds. Good thing too since it would have just been all nintendo other than the psp, ngage & that sega thing (given there are only about 10 handheld consoles).

Assuming their samplebase is large & random enough, I see no reason to doubt their findings. Cant say im paticularly surprised either that Ps2 came top. More surprised by the Wii being third & PS3 being beaten by the origional Xbox...though I suppose this is play time & not ownership being sampled.

I'm not exactly surprised. PS3's lack of backwards compatibility today would definetely play into this.

Xbox360 has online games and I'm willing to bet that people logging on to play a couple of hours of CoD4 and Halo are what builds its numbers. The Wii in many homes may only be used occasionally and probably not for the kind of hours an online game can pull.

PS2 has such a massive installed base compared to all the other consoles that it will be a few more years before we see its decline. (plus it is WAY cheaper and the pre-owned ecosystem help maintain it)

I hate these surveys, they can never get a totally accurate response, I mean, I wasn't asked, where you?

i'm not sure about the validity of the survey, but i will say that my ps2 got more mileage than my wii last year - i dare say that it has had quite the renaissance for my gametime. i've recently purchased Dynasty Warriors 6, Rock Band 2, Katamari Damacy, and Persona 4. and i still play the hell out of my DBZ Budokai Tenkaichi 3. i'm not saying that it is accurate to compare the system to the next gens, but as far as having an extensive library that you can buy used for pretty cheap, it still has my vote for most fun for your dollar.

sirdanrhodes:
I hate these surveys, they can never get a totally accurate response, I mean, I wasn't asked, where you?

That's the thing...

If they took a base of 10,000 consumers in any one state, it wouldn't be trustworthy or accurate. Californians will greatly differ from people in Utah. Gaming habits in Elderslyville (Florida) won't be the same as Washington state. So say you sample 1000 people from each state, bringing us up to over 51-52K people... Still not going to represent much, because things could be totally different if you polled people from San Diego versus Los Angeles. There is no accurate/reliable method short of polling everyone from everywhere, and as SirDan pointed out, they never asked him. Never asked me either. Did they poll you?

Wait a second... 1% of houses didn't buy any bread the whole year?

That makes sense. The PS2 has insane market penetration numbers. I think it will be another couple years before it's dethroned for good.

AuntyEthel:
Wait a second... 1% of houses didn't buy any bread the whole year?

i was just thinking about that, maybe they baked their own?

Forgive my cynicism here but my initial reaction is "How cares...".

I play what I play cause want to play it/can afford to play. They could find that 99% of all North Americans still sit around playing pick-up-sticks and it wouldn't effect how I choice my games. These stats only matter if you a peer pressure whore.

P.S: I'm English. So that means I give even less of damn what this survey means. =3=

Using a survey is stereotyping the majority based on the minority which is all to similar to racist stereotyping when you think about.

"Those four black men got arrested for selling crack therefore all black men sell crack!" is pretty much the same as "those four people play with the PS2, all people play with the PS2!"

Lord Harrab:

AuntyEthel:
Wait a second... 1% of houses didn't buy any bread the whole year?

i was just thinking about that, maybe they baked their own?

Gluten intolerance? Sandwich haters? Who knows...

This is a bit strange to me. I would have expected the current generation consoles (particularly the Wii) to have a lot more momentum in North America by now.

For a very long time, our house did not buy any bread. Because it sucked, and we preferred the bread we made ourselves.

Now excuse me while I go hug my PS2.

Neko Niisan:
Forgive my cynicism here but my initial reaction is "How cares...".

I play what I play cause want to play it/can afford to play. They could find that 99% of all North Americans still sit around playing pick-up-sticks and it wouldn't effect how I choice my games. These stats only matter if you a peer pressure whore.

P.S: I'm English. So that means I give even less of damn what this survey means. =3=

I'm sure the marketing execs care. I'm not an economist, but this does seem to indicate that the PS2 is still a very lucrative console. Making a game for the PS2 should be cheaper than making it for any of the Big Three, because of the need to beef up the graphics for the PS360 and finding a way to shoehorn the Wiimote in for the Wii, right? And apparently we have more PS2 players than the other consoles. That may be a bad analogy, but someone more versed in the ways of the industry than I should be able to come up with a few good reasons for someone to care.

On a side-note, what did they actually base these statistics on? Total hours clocked? Average hours clocked? Games owned for the console? Do they say?

Ok, I found it.

Usage Minutes % is the percent of all measured console minutes.

So basically, the console which had the most cumulative minutes was the "most played"? Shouldn't they average it to get the average amount of time spent playing PS2, rather than a statistic which relies in no small part on the number of actual consoles being used?

sirdanrhodes:
I hate these surveys, they can never get a totally accurate response, I mean, I wasn't asked, where you?

Nope, but we're both in the wrong continent.

Well the results may be impossible to gauge accurately but I think the gist of the results is right. Given the enormous number of PS2's out there, someone has to be playing them, the law of averages says so.

AuntyEthel:
Wait a second... 1% of houses didn't buy any bread the whole year?

I'm not sure if it's that. But say if just one of your sample households doesn't buy bread, you can't legitimately say that 100% of households do. And I don't think they go by fractions.

CantFaketheFunk:

AuntyEthel:
Wait a second... 1% of houses didn't buy any bread the whole year?

I'm not sure if it's that. But say if just one of your sample households doesn't buy bread, you can't legitimately say that 100% of households do. And I don't think they go by fractions.

Yeah, I get how statistics work. I just found it strange that a house could go the whole year without buying a single loaf of bread.

Graustein:
So basically, the console which had the most cumulative minutes was the "most played"? Shouldn't they average it to get the average amount of time spent playing PS2, rather than a statistic which relies in no small part on the number of actual consoles being used?

You have a point there. Surely, due to its age if nothing else, there are a lot of PS2's out there. That would result in a lot of minutes collating up for them.

Do I have a good reason to be paranoid now?

 

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