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?