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Steam Hardware Survey For January 2015

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Here is the Steam Hardware survey for January 2015, starting the year with not many changes as expected.

Linux results for January 2015
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS 64 bit 0.39% -0.01%
Ubuntu 14.10 64 bit 0.14% +0.01%
Linux 3.10 64 bit 0.10% +0.01%
Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca 64 bit 0.08% +0.02%
Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS 0.06% 0.00%
Linux Mint 17 Qiana 64 bit 0.06%-0.02%

Total: 1.09% - 0.01%
Last Month: 1.10%

My thoughts on it

Again without any meaningful change, the only thing that this month's stats showed us is how inaccurate those numbers can be.... as we always mention, they could be truncating the percentages, rounding up or rounding down.... whatever they are doing, those number are very off this month.... I think it would be very good if Valve could show us raw numbers instead of percentages, but that is all we have for now.

As always, remember this is a survey, so it won't ask every single one of you to do it. It would only be truly accurate if it did it behind the scenes, but that's not what a survey is for this is just to get a general idea.

Final Note: Look at it this way, Steam has around 100 million active users, 1% of 100 million is about 1,000,000 (1 million) people. What developer wouldn't want to hook into a market that big? Of course it doesn't mean they are guaranteed that amount of sales, but it's something fun to remember.

See the survey on Steam here.
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pd12 10 February 2015 at 12:30 pm UTC
I've been thinking this for a while, but do you think the survey is done every month on ALL users who have expressed consent when they first installed Steam?
Nasra 10 February 2015 at 12:40 pm UTC
The growth of the linux community on steam is good, but lower than the Steam community. Months agos, there was 600 000 linux users, now we are 1 000 000. That's good.
Hori 10 February 2015 at 12:46 pm UTC
I think there should be a way for Valve to get real numbers... They should be able to count how many users log in through Windows clients, Mac clients or Linux clients... It's not like spying or gathering activity information, it's just taking note of which client did you use to log in which IMO is fine.
If they do that then there will be a lot of further posibilities, like counting how many people dual-boot and things like that.
OFC this may not be the best way of doing this. One problem that comes through my mind are WINE clients that would count as Windows clients
However I think that they are already doing this (kind of) when you buy games... If you buy a game on Windows it will be counted as a Windows sale, if you but it on Linux it will be a Linux sale... (And again, there's the WINE client problem that counts as Windows)

I think that real numbers are not only needed but also essential in the "growing" Linux market. One way or another they will eventualy have to get them.
pb 10 February 2015 at 12:57 pm UTC
Of course they *know* the real numbers, which however doesn't mean they want, or even can, share them with the world.
jordicoma 10 February 2015 at 1:41 pm UTC
I run steam every day on linux, but the survey only appeared the 2 times I started steam on windows. I wanted to answer it, but I had to desist becouse I wanted to answer as a linux user.
darwell 10 February 2015 at 1:57 pm UTC
Ugh, it's the third time I am getting this: I mostly play on Linux (my main OS) but for a few of hours each month I play Rocksmith or some other Windows-only game. And just as I start Steam on Windows - I get the survey request, never on Linux.
Beamboom 10 February 2015 at 2:08 pm UTC
QuoteLook at it this way, Steam has around 100 million active users, 1% of 100 million is about 1,000,000 (1 million) people. What developer wouldn't want to hook into a market that big? Of course it doesn't mean they are guaranteed that amount of sales, but it's something fun to remember.

I'd like to counter that, just for the sake of the argument.
Since sales numbers for PC are hard to come by, let's do some math assuming that the consumer behaviour is roughly the same on the consoles.

Xbox360 and PS3 each had a total number of sold units around 85 mill. That includes bricked units so let's assume now that the number of *active* units were around 50 mill.

Now, a chart topping title on either of this machines - the absolute best selling title any year, we are now on the COD/GTA level - would land at around 10 mill sold copies on one platform. That means 20% of the user base. But a more typical expected estimate, a number more realistic for the "normally successful AAA releases", reach a total sale of maybe 2 mill on one platform - that means less than 5%.

If we transfer this to the Linux stats, it is then reasonable to estimate a maximum of 200k sold copies, if - IF - you release a chart topping release. A "normally successful AAA release" would give ~5% = an additional 50.000 copies sold on Linux.
And now we don't take into account how many of those sales who would be on Windows instead, had there not been a Linux version. And the opposite: Linux gamers are probably keener than the average Steam gamer to purchase games, so maybe it counter that. This can merely be a very rough estimate either way.

I'm just saying this to put the numbers into a more realistic perspective. As the numbers stand today we should be very happy about the releases we indeed have been enjoying thus far, and it is critical that this number increase over time. One mill registred users simply is not enough to defend additional development time for the big releases.
It's the reality folks. We depend on SteamOS and Valve to crank this number up to a critical minimum.
tuubi 10 February 2015 at 3:26 pm UTC
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BeamboomOne mill registred users simply is not enough to defend additional development time for the big releases.
Using your math, that would mean maybe 50 000 extra copies sold. Multiply that by the price of a "big release" and then tell me that's not enough to pay for Linux support.
Eike 10 February 2015 at 3:30 pm UTC
pbOf course they *know* the real numbers, which however doesn't mean they want, or even can, share them with the world.

E. g. if they are publishing a client update in the beginning of the month, the downloaded updates at the end of the month should yield a decent "survey" of active users...
Beamboom 10 February 2015 at 3:47 pm UTC
tuubi
BeamboomOne mill registred users simply is not enough to defend additional development time for the big releases.
Using your math, that would mean maybe 50 000 extra copies sold. Multiply that by the price of a "big release" and then tell me that's not enough to pay for Linux support.

And that's the number I mention in my post - if you release what I call "a normally successful AAA release". Please note that we now talk about the successful ones. The ones who stay on the sales charts for a while. It's not anywhere near the average numbers.

Please remember that the cost of adding a platform is not merely the porting job itself, it's also support and user handling. An additional platform to do patches on. Another platform to do QA on. And so forth.
And one shall not underestimate the cost of getting a decent port done, especially not if it implies adding support for a second 3D API (OpenGL).

I'm telling you - the prospect of an increase of 30-50.000 copies sold if supporting an additional platform is not very lucrative for the players on the league we now talk about. The potential must become larger.
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