back to article PS2 the most played console of 2008

Nintendo may have cleaned up in console sales in 2008, but more US gamers spent their free time time playing Sony's "last-gen" Playstation 2, according to Nielsen Media Research. The PS2's leading numbers aren't terribly surprising considering Sony sold more than 140 million since the console's launch in 2000. Obviously those …


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  1. Stephen

    i wonder...

    does the fact that the ps3 is the only console without any backwards compatibility have anything to do with why it is so low?

    does that also make it that much worse that it's below the original xbox, and barely beat gamecube (wii is 100% bc with gamecube)...

  2. neil hanvey

    hmmmm, what what what...

    I was going to buy a ps3 this weekend but i ran out of petrol for my solid gold hovercraft and couldn't get to the shops.... are sony surprised? £300 for a console? during a worldwide recession? Are they really that batshit insane? 'but it's got a blu-ray player!' ....and?....but bluray looks so crisp...yeah, so do the tenners i'll be spending on other worthwhile things like food and clothes...

  3. Ssithl Koumori

    Re: I Wonder..

    'Limited backwards compatibility' would perhaps be a better choice .. Whilst the 40gig 'budget' PS3 doesn't have any , the 80 does , and fares none too badly at it - based on my own experiences..

    Ironically , the one that was listed as having the best backwards compatability was the 60gig model , though (At least over here in the frozen north) it's since been discontinued.

  4. Simon Neill

    Well that can't be right surely

    "In third place was Halo, fourth was The Sims, fifth Sims 2, sixth RuneScape, seventh Diablo II, eighth Team Fortress 2, ninth Counter-Strike, and tenth Counter-Strike: Source."

    If you go HERE steam register more players for cs / cs:s than tf2, consistently. Every time I have looked. Right now left 4 dead and football manager are both beating tf2 as well.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @Stephen: A lot of PS3s are backwards compatible, mine is.

    As the article says, they don't say how they work this out. So, for example, does a PS3 or PC being used as a media center count as usage?

    It's also only for the US, which while a large market, is much smaller then the EU.

    According to the Wii is the most unwanted Christmas present with e-bay being flooded with them...... Still, if their bought in the first place Nintendo must be happy!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While we all know...

    ... that the ps3 stop backwards compatability because they could then still sell ps2's so this figure is possible i call BS.

    If they don;t provide any information on where the numbers come from maybe, just maybe they are made up?

    I did some research myself and i'm not going to tell you how i came up with the figures, but my figures say that the most played console was in fact the fisher price my first computer!

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    Yet another useless survey.

  8. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    Statistical bullshit

    Based on US data, from a tiny sample size.

    Also based on number of minutes, and as the old Xbox userbase is bigger then of COURSE the total minutes is going to be higher.

  9. Si

    Personally, I've been using my Dreamcast more than my PS2

    I still think it's the better machine too. The Super Famicom and Xbox 360 get the award for most usage last year from me I think. The Saturn did pretty well out of me as well...

  10. Danny Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    sample size?

    Without sample sizes the data is meaningless. Could have been a poll of 1000 in the ghettos.

  11. ElFatbob

    re: i wonder

    I'm not sure backwards compatability has that much to do with it. I have the backwards compatible 60gb and took it up to a friends recently where we played the original PS2 MoH title. We felt nostalgic for about 5 minutes then noticed how dated it looked and went back to the PS3 games. Doubt i'll ever load another PS2 game into it.

    I'd say it has more to do with cost/use. The Wii is highly affordable and highly attractive for family fun. The 'hardcore' gamers either bought the X360 as it was available before the PS3 or are waiting for the PS3 to come down in cost (which it hasn't much since it's release). Add to that the relatively low number of games available for it (compared to the X360 + PS2) and i reckon you have the reasons why. The games situation has much improved though over the last 8 months or so..

  12. TeeCee Gold badge


    Not so (AFAIK).

    Sony originally shipped the PS3 with the PS2 hardware embedded, whereas MS went for a software emulator for old XBOX games. This meant that from the off, the PS3 had *better* backward compatibility than the '360 (much trumpeting from Sony over this). However, MS could tweak the emulator whereas the PS3 was stuck with what it came with. As a result, as time wore on the '360 rapidly overtook the PS3 on legacy support (cue full brass band effects ad infinitum from MS). I believe that later PS3's* dropped the hardware PS2 support in favour of a software solution, providing the ability to fix support for recalcitrant PS2 / PS titles, but its reputation for piss-poor compatibility persists to this day.

    Oh and the article? I think that "gathering less dust" should read "gathering more dust".......

    *I believe that it is legitimate to add an apostrophe when using a plural of an acronym for clarity....

  13. Sampler

    PC Games

    It's nice to see that the games lauded as been most played are the biggest sellers of last year - kind of countering the image that all PC gamers are thieving pirates!

  14. James Pickett


    What on earth is a percentage of usage minutes? Are they saying that PS2 owners spend nearly a third of their lives playing games, and if not, what is it 31% of? I suspect they don't know either - clowns.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    ..according to a few select Americans.

    Sample of 1000 customers across 14 Gamestop stores in the US were asked to log console data.

    Clearly Nielsen does not understand statistical significance..

  16. Test Man


    Actually you're slightly wrong. As you say, originally the PS3's BC was a hardware solution (a system-on-a-chip solution like the PS2 did) which gave it 100% BC. If it needed tweaking (which it didn't really), it could still be done in firmware. Microsoft's was always a software solution (essentially an emulator) which didn't give it 100% BC but was fairly high enough for the key titles, but they had to constantly update it in batches for old titles when they could. However, in trying to get the console cheaper, Sony evaluated whether it could be done to a high-enough standard in software (emulator) instead and decided that it could so they dumped the chip for the western market and implemented a software solution. This gave it a less than 100% BC like Microsoft's Xbox 360 but like Microsoft's was tweaked over time to raise the percentage. In the end, Sony decided that it was too high an effort for little returns so all models released after the 60GB have had it dropped entirely.

    Just because the original NTSC 60GB had hardware support for BC didn't mean it couldn't be tweaked if needed using firmware (which they didn't as they had 100% BC anyway).

  17. Anonymous Coward

    What about the Wii

    I guess all the Wii players were too busy playing to vote.

  18. Carl Williams

    My old PS2 get hammered

    Mainly because i gave it to my 6 year old son who now spends an hour a day playing Sonic games, where as my PS3 is lucky if it gets an hour a week as I don't have enough time to play it.

    It could be that like my house the PS2 has now been relegated to childrens bedrooms where it will see far more use than in a living room.

  19. Sam Turner

    Statistical significance.

    According to a survey wot I just made up, "statistical significance" is the third most abused term on the internet after "according to wikipedia" and "I'm not a racist but ..."

    It's entirely possible for a survey of 1000 people to be statistically significant. It's entirely possible for a survey of a lot fewer people to be statistically significant.

    And, from the link in the article: "Usage Minutes % is the percent of all measured console minutes." Which seems like a perfectly sensible way of representing the data. What would people prefer? Volume of sweat leaked into the sofa? Number of boxes of greasy pseudo-pizza consumed? Increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes?

  20. richard tanswell


    I think the wii is more of a social thing. It's good fun when you have your mates round but the games don't have any longevity. People who have no friends use the Xbox/PS3 online to play with their "virtual" friends.

    I'm very impressed with my Elite 360 and although I haven't been online with it yet (I have real friends), I think I will be expanding my friend base into the virtual world!!

    Wii Mario Kart online is also good fun!

    Even if the survey is made up crap, it goes a long way to prove the cause of the Yanks' obesity problem...and why it's now impacting the UK!

    Fifa/PES are great games but it doesn't beat getting down the park with your mates to kick a ball into a goal with no net and getting covered in dog shit or battering the hell out of your neighbours cars and windows!!! Ah the good old days!!!!

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Why so serious?

    Please, who cares who plays more ps3 and more xbox 360 etc... i certainly dont lol

  22. James Pickett


    "Usage Minutes % is the percent of all measured console minutes."

    The word 'usage' on it's own would have been enough, then, although clearly far too short for US marketing wonks. The survey seems pretty spurious anyway - I'm sure there will be another along soon with a wholly different and equally unreliable set of figures.

    Anyway, I'm off to hone my Wii Fitness.

  23. OrsonX

    I wish I didn't have to work... I could go home and play GTA4 (wot I got for Christmas), so far Ihaven't even killed anybody!

    [my minutes will be on 360, when I get some]

  24. Andy Fletcher

    Loving my PS3...

    ...not in the way a man loves a woman of course, in the way a man loves a fine Cuban cigar. But then again, I love it cos I've got one. Doubtless if I had an XBox I'd love that too

    My thirteen year old son is all up in arms when he reads "XBox better than PS3" or other rubbish on the net - but he's....thirteen and with the hormones running riot he tends to take everything personally.

    The temptation to list some of the PS3's finer points may be there, but I seriously worry about anyone who cares that much about it.

    Bottom line - you're more likely (if you have kids) to buy the console their friends have got as they want to play online and then brag in the playground to each other. Four dads I know got PS3's because my son "sold" them on the idea so he could shoot the crap out of their offspring.

    Backwards compatibility? Give me a break - like the guy in the shop who sold me mine said, once you're playing current gen games, the old ones just don't come out of their boxes anymore.

  25. Jay
    Dead Vulture

    Nielsen Media Research?

    These guys can't get TV rating right, and now they are trying videogames?

    Bloody American idiots!

  26. Rick Brasche

    what, no StarCraft?

    must've been a pretty lame sample for this survey then.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Where is Mark?


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