Approval Ratings: Batman Positive, by 2-to-1

The second round of Kotaku Approval Ratings returned few surprises - especially for a title of Batman: Arkham Asylum's eminence. But they continue to build a baseline understanding of who we are and how we game.

Last Saturday's survey covered your attitudes about the latest Batman title, from Rocksteady and Eidos, as well as your platform ownership and favorites. We then asked your feelings on seven titles, some of them shooters, not all of them world-beaters, to derive what it is you do want to play. Here are the questions and results:

1. Based on what you've seen and read, would you stop playing your current game to start playing Batman: Arkham Asylum?

Yes: 66 percent (8,646 responses)
No: 23 percent (3,000)
Undecided: 11 percent (1,394)
13,040 total responses.

2. Based on what you've seen and read, do you plan to purchase Batman: Arkham Asylum?

Yes: 61 percent (7,445 responses)
No: 21 percent (2,625)
Undecided: 18 percent (2,234)
12,304 total responses.

Sometimes you have to ask a question even if you know the answer. Batman: Arkham Asylum has benefited from rave reviews, skillful marketing, and previews that have been very well received. Judging by the comment histories on Batman stories, many of you planned on picking this up the day of release, and these numbers definitely bear that out. But we will be revisiting Batman in later surveys, as it is a singleplayer game, to see what kind of staying power the game has.

On to some questions about Kotaku readers' gaming lifestyles.

3. Which of these platforms do you own and/or play games on? (Check all that apply)

PC: 9,250 total responses
Xbox 360: 8,277
PlayStation 3: 7,634
DS/DSi: 6,814
Wii: 6,492
PS2: 6,460
PSP: 5,104
iPhone/iPod Touch: 3,300
Mac: 1,854
55,185 total responses. Multiple responses allowed.

Unfortunately, our poll service didn't provide a number of unique respondents to this question. So percentages are meaningless here, which is why they weren't included. Nor is the poll service capable of breaking out multiple ownership, i.e. the percentage who own PC and 360 and DS, the percentage who own Mac and PS3, PSP and PS2, etc.

The median total response for this survey was 12,330. If we assume that many individuals responding here, the total breaks down like so: PC is owned by 75 percent of respondents; Xbox 360: owned by 67 percent; PlayStation 3: 62 percent; DS/DSi: 55 percent; Wii: 53 percent; PS2: 52 percent; PSP: 41 percent; iPhone/iPod Touch: 27 percent; Mac: 15 percent. Again, that adds up to more than 100 percent because of multiple ownership.

Just eyeballing the pageviews for high-readership stories around here, this is not much of a surprise. Everyone owns a PC (or a Mac), because everyone had to connect to the Internet to answer this survey. Then comes the two core consoles. The DS's edge over the Wii may be because of its longer production history. The PS2's dead heat with the Wii shows that console's remarkable longevity and users' attachment to it and its deep library of great games.

The survey also implies there are 10 percent who own neither PC nor Mac - likely these are respondents who may own one or the other but have no games for it or do not consider it a gaming platform.

This is all interesting, but here's the question to put a finer point on things:

4. Which platform do you enjoy the most?

Xbox 360: 41 percent (5,033 responses)
PlayStation 3: 32 percent (3,906)
PC: 19 percent (2,359)
DS/DSi: 3 percent (363)
Wii: 2 percent (266)
PS2: 2 percent (257)
PSP: 1 percent (86)
iPhone/iPod Touch: <1 percent (46)
Mac: <1 percent (28)
12,344 total responses.

No multiple choice allowed here. The 360 came away with a decisive plurality, and the PS3 is in a strong second place, well in front of PC games. The totals for the others are so low as to suggest that they - the Wii included - play a predominantly adjunctive role in Kotaku readers' gaming lineup. Except for Apple, which is nonexistent.

5. Do you want to play Madden NFL 10? (any platform)

Yes: 12 percent (1,525 responses)
No: 81 percent (10,017)
Not sure: 7 percent (824)
12,366 total responses.

These next seven questions cover games released this year that, while not game-of-the-year caliber, arrived with tons of hype and/or brand recognition. They touch a diversity of genres too. Despite the fact Madden NFL 10 is probably the best version to date, and has been reviewed very positively, the game tanks here. This is likely a matter of genre preference, and the fact sports gamers are not well represented in the readership.

6. Do you want to play Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood? (any platform)

Yes: 24 percent (3,006 responses)
No: 55 percent (6,849)
Not sure: 21 percent (2,579)
12,434 total responses.

The sequel to Ubisoft's 2007 western gets a pretty strong thumbs-down. This is interesting because we're a shooter-heavy crowd around here, but you're not into this one. Whether that's because of its sub-genre, or that its the sequel (or prequel) to a game that didn't get rave reviews, who's to say.

7. Do you want to play The Conduit? (Wii)

Yes: 16 percent (1,984 responses)
No: 70 percent (8,661)
Not sure: 14 percent (1,741)
12,386 total responses.

Here's a game that got nearly a year's worth of hype or discussion, is also an FPS, and is designed to appeal to Wii core gamers - and you want no part of it. Just because it has a crosshairs and a gun doesn't mean our readers want to play it.

8. Do you want to play Killzone 2? (PS3)

Yes: 52 percent (6,341 responses)
No: 37 percent (4,532)
Not sure: 10 percent (1,268)
12,141 total responses.

The high negative suggests a fanboy effect against the PS3's premier shooter. But Killzone 2 still rates a majority approval, and taken in light of the console ownership data, there are probably a good number of 360 owners who do respect the game's quality. It would be astonishing to see a AAA, 90-rated first-person shooter get a poor score here, five months after release, regardless of its platform.

9. Do you want to play Halo Wars? (Xbox 360)

Yes: 19 percent (2,337 responses)
No: 72 percent (8,821)
Not sure: 9 percent (1,081)
12,239 total responses.

Neither the Halo brand nor the fact this is the biggest-selling console RTS to date makes much of a difference. It's either still an RTS, or it's still Halo, and a supermajority reject it for those reasons

10. Do you want to play Wii Sports Resort? (Wii)

Yes: 38 percent (4,638 responses)
No: 51 percent (6,261)
Not sure: 11 percent (1,299)
12,198 total responses.

The 51 percent negative for Wii Sports Resort sends a pretty strong anti-casual message from the readership. The gameplay variety and motion control aspect seem to do little to overcome our posture that we like our games deep, we like them to have narratives, and we like them to have guns and shooting.

11. Do you want to play Rock Band: Unplugged? (PSP)

Yes: 17 percent (2,150 responses)
No: 73 percent (9,065)
Not sure: 9 percent (1,161)
12,376 total responses.

In our comments, rhythm games' love-hate rep generally revolves around simulated instruments versus playing real ones. (Well that, and Guitar Hero's perceived overexposure). Rock Band: Unplugged has no simulated instrument. On the PSP, it might be a novel way to interact with your music, but as a game, you've said no thanks, quite clearly. The 73 percent negative is also not much of a surprise considering the PSP's earlier numbers (roughly 41 percent owned, 1 percent most enjoyed).

Look for more questions this Saturday at 7:30 p.m., U.S. Mountain time, as we continue to flesh out the habits, preferences and trends among the Kotaku Gamer.