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Nielsen: PlayStation 2 Most-Played Console In 2008,  WoW  Tops PC Gaming

Nielsen: PlayStation 2 Most-Played Console In 2008, WoW Tops PC Gaming

January 2, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

January 2, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

In 2008, gamers collectively spent more time with their PlayStation 2 than any other console. That's according to media research company Nielsen, whose "Top Tens" of 2008 calculated video game console usage, as well as the top PC games.

The company's methodology, also famously used in the TV industry, is to use data from households that it monitors for media usage, and then extrapolate across the entire United States.

Nielsen's data, which actually covers the period from January through October, found that PS2 users accounted for 31.7 percent of the total time played from all nationwide gamers. The Xbox 360 was the year's second-most popular console, with 17.2 percent of the time, followed by Wii at 13.4 percent.

Interestingly, Nielsen says that the first-gen Xbox currently sees more usage than the PlayStation 3, with 9.7 percent versus 7.3 percent, respectively. The GameCube still made the surveyors' list with 4.6 percent of total time, and an "Other" category accounts for the remaining 16.2 percent.

"Other", Nielsen says, includes "any other console found in the home" - it appears that the research did not include portable hardware like the Nintendo DS or PSP.

Unsurprisingly, Blizzard's World of Warcraft tops Nielsen's most-played PC game list, seeing an average of 671 minutes played per week. In any given minute, the data says, almost 1 percent (0.723 percent) of all PC gamers are playing WoW.

Nielsen's full list of most-played PC titles, with average minutes per week and what percentage of PC gamers are playing them at that moment, is as follows:

1. World of Warcraft (Blizzard)
- 671 minutes per week (0.723% of gamers)
2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision)
- 403 minutes per week (0.163% of gamers)
3. Halo: Combat Evolved (Microsoft)
- 295 minutes per week (0.092% of gamers)
4. The Sims (Electronic Arts)
- 213 minutes per week (0.09% of gamers)
5. The Sims 2 (Electronic Arts)
- 291 minutes per week (0.086% of gamers)
6. RuneScape (Jagex)
- 451 minutes per week (0.084% of gamers)
7. Diablo II (Blizzard)
- 313 minutes per week (0.065% of gamers)
8. Team Fortress 2 (Valve)
- 371 minutes per week (0.063% of gamers)
9. Counter-Strike (Valve)
- 282 minutes per week (0.062% of gamers)
10. Counter-Strike: Source (Valve)
- 426 minutes per week (0.061% of gamers)

Nielsen's full set of Top 10 lists, which also include television, books, and other media, are available at its official website.

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