Kotaku Census 2010: The Personal Computer

It's the backbone of the video game industry. Consoles come and consoles go, but the personal computer has always been there, and maybe, always will be. So let's talk about it, eh?

From upgrades to digital delivery, today we're going to be asking you all about the PC. And not the dusty old Dell you use at work for spreadsheets and solitaire, the sweet gaming rig you have at home you use for Team Fortress 2 and internet porn.

I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but just to be clear, these polls aren't for our advertising team, nor are they being pushed forward by publishers or marketing departments. They're for a report next week on the state of Kotaku's readership, and as such, are for SCIENCE.

Now, before we begin, let me get this clear: please only answer if you own a gaming PC. If we get people without a PC clicking "no" on every response, it'll screw up the results.


How Often Do You Upgrade Your Gaming PC?

So, how often do you make upgrades to your PC? It doesn't matter how minor or MAJOR the upgrade, if you added something new or replaced something old, it counts.

Do You Buy Games Digitally?

Boxes are for suckers. The future is digital downloads. We don't mean ordering boxed copies online, we mean buying digital copies of games that you download. So, do you buy them? And if so, how often?

Where Do You Buy Your Digital Games From?

Since so many of you buy digital games, and the stores themselves never give out sales information, let's do the next best thing and see which digital shopfronts you lot frequent. This question allows for multiple answers, so if you use all of them, knock yourself out.

Do You Play MMOs?

Massively multiplayer online games. World of Warcraft, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Everquest, you get the idea. Subscriptions, millions of hours spent playing, countless relationships destroyed. So, do you play them?

Can You Run Crysis On Max Settings?

This is probably the easiest way to determine the "strength" of your gaming PCs without having to get into a pissing match over specs. Can you run Crysis on full, max settings (either DirectX version)? Please be honest; we can't see who's voting, so there's no need to fib.

Do You Also Own Any Other Consoles Or Handhelds?

We're curious, are you a PC gamer and a PC gamer only? Or do you own another console or handheld? Answer yes if you've got anything in the house you still play games on, whether it be a PS1 or PS3, N64 or Wii.

Who Do You Love More, Blizzard Or Valve?

While other developers like id, Crytek and Relic do a good job of catering to the PC market, two studios stand like giants above the rest when it comes to PC gaming: Blizzard, developers of Starcraft, Diablo and Warcraft, and Valve, developers of Half-Life, Team Fortress and Left 4 Dead. The question is simple: who do you love more?


    Blown away by that last question. Why can't I love both of them? :(

      Because one is a prostitute for Activision.

      Such a hard decision

        Valve gets extra <3's atm imo due to Portal 2 announcment.

    "Who Do You Love More, Blizzard Or Valve?"
    No option for "Both are wankers"?

      You don't have to reply...

      This should be good.. care to justify your statement Aliasalpha?

    Ooouf, that last one was hard. Blizzard did give us Diablo, starcraft and the good non-MMO warcrafts.

    The MMO question is interesting. I picked 'No way in hell', but only because I've never had the time for an MMO. I like the concept, but I play too many games and have too little time to sink so much into a single game.

    Let the pissing match begin...

    Surely Bioware should have been an option in that last question

    These days I'm a PC gamer in the sense that I play Flash and browser games, I play Telltale Games stuff, and I'm a frequent customer of Big Fish Games.

    This survey did not seem to have contemplated my existence.

      Maybe this survey was aimed towards the traditional 'Hardcore' PC gamer and not a 'Casual' gamer. There might be another survey aimed towards your style of gaming to come....

    Oh, sorry to double comment, but all these surveys have a tense issue. The MMOs question here, for example, doesn't contemplate "I played basically nothing but MMOs for two years but haven't touched one since 2007."

    And the piracy survey earlier didn't have room for, "I downloaded a whole heap of stuff when I was 14 and the internet was made up of about 50 people max, but these days I can afford to actually buy stuff and therefore do."

    Needs to be more recognition of the difference between "have you" and "do you".

      Yeah I was in that position with the MMO question. Back when I was in school and had heaps of free time I used to play MMOs, I can't imagine how many hours I put into MU.. still have fond memories of that game. However nowadays the real world gets in the way more, as well as being unable to play a game for too long before feeling like I should move on and find a better use for my time.

        Like reading about games and commenting on a blog site...

      I'm totally the same on the piracy thing.

    Awww, cmon, I love both Blizzard and Valve. For now I voted Valve only because their games have received more action from me in recent years.

    With regards to that upgrade question, I can't imagine anyone who is still a PC gamer (hardcore that is) would pick anything other that 12-24 months considering how stagnant gaming technology has become in recent years. My rig is only a year old and I don't expect to need to switch anything out for at least another year.

      My Rig is only a year old too, and I haven't changed any core components (I might have to change the motherboard though since I snapped off half a pci-x slot when I didn't hold the clip in properly removing one of my video cards :S) but I still whack in an extra hard drive for more storage every 6mths or so...

    I like Valve because of that sound effect it makes when you see the picture of the man with a valve for an eye .. "Bommmmmmmm"

    Valve <3

    Blizzard vs. Valve? the correct answer is Bioware

      Well considering Bioware actually releases new games every now and then they win easily in my books

      Eh-hem, no. You haven't played enough video games.

    Blizz vs Valve - so hard!
    On the one hand, I love Warcraft 3 and WoW for the lore and gameplay.
    On the other, L4D/L4D2, Portal, Half-Life 2...

    Blizzard, purely because they are one of the few remaining staunch PC developers.

    Valve all the way baby. Just listening to their ingame commentaries makes you realise they actually know how to design games well (and makes your head hurt when you notice how blindingly obvious it is other companies don't seem to have a clue).

    Didn't participate in the blizzard/valve question nor the choice of digital distribution question since all of those things are pure evil.

    No question. Valve actually is doing something to help PC gaming market, blizz just cares about itself and its games making money.

      uhm yeah cause all other developers and publishers aren't trying to increase the zeroes on their profit margins...

        That's true, but it's the WAY they do it. Valve do it with respect and a true gamer attitude.

    Am I the only guy who was disappointed by Half Life 2?
    I *loved* half life, it was a total revelation, the way the squad guys would peel one guy off and flank you, the bullet holes coming up through the air-vent tunnel you were hiding in, taking down the chopper, I abso-bloody-lutely loved it. HL2 felt like girl tells you something, then disappears and you run/drive/boat super quickly to meet up with her again. So quickly that you just blur past most of the environs.
    *sigh* end of rant.

    I wish there was an option for "don't know" re the crysis question, and just a plain "haven't tried one yet" for the MMO question. Would have like a question on what spec was your first computer as well.

    WoW = NoThankyou.

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