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taterchimp avatar 7:00 PM on 02.16.2011  (server time)
Statistics, Diversity, Gaming, and Trolls

So I wrote my analysis last week on who had the most exclusives. This week I wanted to tackle another issue: which gamer enjoys a more diverse plate of game? This raised a lot of questions, and my studies took me on a few wild turns. The first question that it raised was: do I want to make this a recurring thing, and the answer is yes. I enjoy doing some data work. The second question was what should I call this, if I keep writing it? I am not sure how well this translates into writing, but I am leaning towards chart-on, because I love me some data.

Before I get into it, I want to explain my M.O. I do my best to go into these blind. I made categories before hand to lump games into, so that way I couldn’t decide later than game X should be in this category to skew the numbers. Then I said screw that, I’ll just use my gut and not be a dick about it. The games used were taken from Metacritic’s top 20 games for each platform, by critic score. I then added in the genre.

So this is the point in the article where I ask: What do you expect the results to be? Think about it. Out of PC, Wii, Xbox, and PS3, who’s cuisine will reign supreme?! The trolls want you to believe that PS3 are more sophisticated, and 360 fanboys only play FPS games. Let’s dip our feet into the data with the PC data:

The PC held very few surpises. It is the king of strategy games, and also has the most console exclusives. Who would have thought? However, I do want to make the point that PC gamers love their FPS’s. Now, an interesting point on this data, some baseball game was number two by score (Out of the Park Baseball). What the hell PC? What the hell.

Second up is the less divisive Wii. Wii gamers are least represented by the FPS genre, but it still dips into twice (arguably more, what with Metroid having a trilogy). It also had Cave Story and World of Goo as two of it’s highest rated games, which I thought was interesting.

Now here is what most people are concerned with. The 360 has 40% comprised of FPS games. So there is some validity to the 360 having good shooters.

And by comparison, here is the PS3. And I have to admit, it appears to have the most varied game types in the top 20. So what is the result of all of this?

RESULT: PS3 is the most diverse console by top 20 games on Metacritic.

An interesting aside is that DLC titles (XBLA, PSN, Wii Shop) make up about 15% on each console. I thought it was interesting that they were all so well aligned, and really, more power to smaller developers.

Now, Metacritic also captures the user scores assigned to games. I decided to include the user scores into some calculations as well. Quick explanation: Variance is going to be critic score – user score. The 360 variance is 12.05, PC is 9.3, PS3 is 12.6, and the Wii is 5.65. Out of all of the consoles, the Wii owners appear to agree with the critics the most! I wouldn’t be satisfied if I wasn’t thorough on this though. We are living in the console wars after all….

What happens if the variance is taken only for exclusives? Xbox goes to 14.75 points, PC goes to 11.2 (6.5 if you remove the baseball game, with a 40 point variance…what the hell is up with that game?) The PS3 has a 9.6 variance, and finally the Wii has a whopping….2.1. Yet again, the Wii owners show us that they are more aligned with the reviewers. 360 reviews, however, are have the greatest difference on average to exclusives. There is no proof, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if there was some butt hurt going on somewhere in there. Either that or critics just love bad games when they are on the 360. With the data provided, I cant tell.

Originally, Grim Fandango was the only game that had a higher user rating than critic rating. I did 360, PS3, PC…then I got to the Wii, where 8 games out of the 20 had an equal or higher score! Wii owners really love their games, and no one is about to troll them otherwise!

This concludes the meat and potatoes of the article, but I caught a few interesting factoids, to fuel the fire. Whatever choice you make out of the platforms, the top games share many exclusives (PC aside). But not everything is created equal. Braid critically sits at 93. The user score for the 360 sits at 87, half of the normal deviation. On the PS3, it sits at 70. PS3 users apparently thought braid was just so so. Make what you will of that.

Only on the PS3 does Street Fighter show up alongside Super Street Fighter in the top 20. Two iterations of Rock Band show up on every console. Well played, music genre. Well played. Guitar Hero 5 shows up on the Wii’s top 20, which seems very peculiar, as it doesn’t show its head anywhere else. GH2 broke the top 20 on the 360. The Orange Box was on every (non-Wii) console.

Finally, PS3 owners love to talk about their exclusives, and one that has been argued to be the mascot for the system is Sack boy. Dear Playstation: do not push this. Why, you ask? Little Big Planet had a 30 point user variance. PS3 owners vary the same amount on LBP as everyone does on the Call of Duty Series. (Modern Warfare 2, while critically a hit, has an average score of 58.5 from the users.)

So what have we learned so far? No matter what console you buy, you have made a good choice, and you have plenty of exclusives to play. But what about the crowd that plays the games? PS3 has the most varied games. Xbox players have the largest gap between players and critics. And if you own a Wii, you love that baby like nothing else. I leave you with this final thought: Baseball. On the PC. Number two. What the [radio edit]!?!?

(Not sure what the best medium for it would be, but I have all the data used to create this saved, and would be willing to distribute if anyone was interesting or feeling contentious)

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