Valve has published survey results where over million respondents informed detailed statistics about their gaming computer system. While English (60%), German (12%) and French (10%) languages dominated there were many other reported languages (For example Italian, Finnish, Spanish, Korean among others). The survey began on May 30th, 2007 and the last stats update – at the time of writing this blog entry – was done on August 21, 2007.
Bear in mind that these stats come from Valve’s Steam – where players range from casual to hardcore gamers.
I found it quite interesting that 2.31% percent had DirectX10 as their default, 53% DirectX 9 (with Shader 3), 24% DirectX 9 (with Shader 2), 15% DirectX 8 and 5% DirectX 7. Basically you can get from these stats that those developers who are making games for DirectX9 or higher will miss 20% of the players.
DirectX9 was first introduced five years ago (and DirectX 9.0c about three years ago). If it took about half a decade for DX9 to become popular (80%), one can wonder when DX10 will be used by majority of the gamers. While Vista will perhaps make it easier for DX10 to penetrate, it will still take some time (as for the record: 8% of respondents reported having Windows Vista)
Screen resolution stats
2% reported 800 x 600 resolution and the rest were mainly 1024×768 (37%), 1280×800 (41%) or higher. It’s good to remember that these stats come from certain type of gamers, but still it gives some idea about the system requirements.
For comparison, 4% of GameProducer.net visitors have 800×600 resolution, 32% 1024×768, 30% 1280×1024 and 8% have 1280×800 resolution. (From about 300,000 unique visits).
Internet connection stats
18% didn’t specify their connection speed, but roughly 80% of users had connection speed 256.0 Kbps or higher. This says something about the people who gave answers, since there are many countries where Internet connection speeds are not as high as these.
The survey contains lots of other information about computer speeds, system memory, video card drivers, hard drive space and many other factors which might be useful for you when you determine your target audience. Check out the full survey report here.