Research groups tell us a lot of interesting things, and Nielsen has begun the new year with some unexpected news from 2008. With other reports fussing over the three "next-gen" consoles, who would have thought that Sony's PlayStation 2 would win the popularity contest?
Based on data gathered between January and October 2008, Nielsen has determined that 31.7 percent of the American gamer pool was comprised of PS2 users. The Xbox 360 comes in second with 17.2 percent, followed by the Wii at 13.4 percent.
Furthermore, the research data showed the original Xbox hanging on at 9.7 percent, as the PlayStation 3 sits at 7.3 percent. Nintendo's GameCube falls below that at 4.6 percent, leaving 16.2 percent in the "Other" category, which consists of "any other console found in the home." This doesn't include portable platforms on the DS or PSP.
As for PC gaming, Blizzard's World of Warcraft failed to surprise anyone when it came out on top. American gamers played an average of 631 minutes per week between the months of January and October. This means that each minute, nearly one percent of PC gamers are playing WoW.
Not surprisingly, EA Maxis' The Sims popped up on Nielsen's top ten list of most-played PC titles in 2008. Valve occupies several of the lower ranks:
1. World of Warcraft (Blizzard) - 671 minutes per week
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision) - 403 minutes per week
3. Halo: Combat Evolved (Microsoft) - 295 minutes per week
4. The Sims (Electronic Arts) - 213 minutes per week
5. The Sims 2 (Electronic Arts) - 291 minutes per week
6. RuneScape (Jagex) - 451 minutes per week
7. Diablo II (Blizzard) - 313 minutes per week
8. Team Fortress 2 (Valve) - 371 minutes per week
9. Counter-Strike (Valve) - 282 minutes per week
10. Counter-Strike: Source (Valve) - 426 minutes per week