Latest Steam numbers show Linux, Mac gamers almost equal

By on March 5, 2013, 3:00 PM

The numbers from Steam's February hardware and software survey have been published and the results show an interesting development -- Linux platforms now accounts for about 2.8 percent of Steam's users. That may not sound like much, but to put some perspective on that figure, Mac OS users total about 3.07 percent of Steam's gaming population.

Note that I'm also lumping "Others" (0.82 percent) into the total number of Linux client installs. This is because the category practically didn't exist until Steam's Linux beta arrived in October.

Unlike Mac OS though, where Steam has had its chance to propagate since May 2010, Steam for Linux has only been publicly available since October 2012 as a limited public beta. It wasn't even until February that a Linux-friendly Steam client was officially launched, so this could be interpreted as encouraging news for the future of Linux gaming. 

Ubuntu accounts for more than half of Linux-based client installs. The only other Linux distro listed by name is Mint, which accounts for roughly six percent of Linux installs.

Perhaps the rising proliferation of Linux users on Steam will help promote the development of more AAA titles for Linux. It probably wouldn't be a bad market for developers either, as Linux gamers seem more willing to part with their money than Windows or Mac users. There are currently 131 games on Steam that are compatible with Linux, but the overwhelming majority of those are indie games.

Looking beyond just Linux though, Valve's stats show 1080p being used on nearly one-third of all systems. This makes 1080p the single most popular resolution while higher resolutions, like WQHD, only accounts for about 4.5 percent.

Steam's gaming community appears to value up-to-dateness with DX11-capable graphics cards appearing in about 58 percent of systems. Nvidia is the most popular choice with a 52.39 percent share of gamers, while ATI (AMD) and Intel round out the bottom half with 33.92 and 13.1 percent, respectively. 

Intel is by far the favored platform with a whopping 73 percent of gamers running systems powered by an Intel chip. Meanwhile, dual-core CPUs prove very slightly more popular than quad-cores while 40 percent of gamers have 6GB of RAM (or more) installed.




User Comments: 10

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Nima304 said:

It's interesting that Steam has access to this kind of information in the first place. What else does their application report to their servers, I wonder?

yRaz yRaz said:

It's interesting that Steam has access to this kind of information in the first place. What else does their application report to their servers, I wonder?

you can read the Eula. Their survey is opt in, not opt out.

Guest said:

Technically true, it's 'opt in', but it installs 'opted in' You have to change it after installation...by then they've already collected at least one pass of your info.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Does anyone know how it actually works? Does it take into account all the platforms that a single account has been on and only takes the most-used to insert into the data?

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It's interesting that Steam has access to this kind of information in the first place. What else does their application report to their servers, I wonder?

What else would valve want from you? They need your address and credit card details for you to purchase games, this is hardware related so your CPU, RAM, GPU etc... Its not like its personally identifiable stuff or anything important to anyone other than themselves to better optimize their games, its nice to see they make it public, I bet Origin does the same thing but doesn't make any of it publicly available.

But seriously, what on earth do you think Valve are taking from you by running these survey's? It also reports the version of Windows your running, service packs, driver versions and anti-virus software... so what?

MadnessRed said:

Technically true, it's 'opt in', but it installs 'opted in' You have to change it after installation...by then they've already collected at least one pass of your info.

I assumed the data collection was that popup window which appears and asked questions such as internet speed, do you have a microphone etc.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Does anyone know how it actually works? Does it take into account all the platforms that a single account has been on and only takes the most-used to insert into the data?

Thats a good question, I use three different systems regularly enough and have had the hardware survey pop up on me while not using my main gaming rig. Does it associate your steam account with familiar systems? Maybe that could be part of the survey, like number of system used on avg by an individual account. Might be interesting to see how many different systems somebody could use.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Thats a good question, I use three different systems regularly enough and have had the hardware survey pop up on me while not using my main gaming rig. Does it associate your steam account with familiar systems? Maybe that could be part of the survey, like number of system used on avg by an individual account. Might be interesting to see how many different systems somebody could use.

Yeah, I'm up to four now. Something tells me that if the figures aren't adjusted in any way, that the Linux figures are over-inflated. I'm willing to bet a lot would be people running their second boot or VM and just trying out Steam.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Well, a steady supply of games IS coming. Imagine running the same operating system behind the Steambox, and you get some killer apps (see: Infinity Ward, Volition, Blizzard, etc.) The range of developers migrating to the system is only going to grow. They develop all of their games on Linux systems anyways. :P

Puiu Puiu said:

I expected 4GB of RAM to be more popular.

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