Speaking of Steam (Valve’s excellent games-download service), it’s worth cruising over to check the results of their ongoing online hardware survey. As usual with this data, it’s not difficult to draw some fascinating inferences:
- Creative Labs is no longer in the sound card business. This survey is presumably weighted towards hard-core gamers. And yet, over 30% of those responding are using Realtek audio (presumably, what’s built-in to their motherboard). Only a few percent list any type of Creative audio device. Even if you assume that the entire “Other” category is Creative, that gives them a dismally low market share.
- Gamers have not bought into Vista. Over 80% are using Windows XP, and a mere 14% are on Vista. Worse yet, only about 9% have the combination of hardware and software to use Vista’s much-ballyhooed DirectX 10 graphics.
- Widescreen has a way to go. Only about 25% of users are on “16:9” displays. (An obvious misnomer, as most monitors are actually 16:10.)
- Broadband is big. While only about 30% of respondents have Internet speeds above 2 megabits, an amazing 12% claim speeds of over 10 megabits.
Funny, how the real world doesn’t look like what you’d expect based on the headlines you read.