Windows 8 is bad for gaming? Well, not according to gamers, it seems. According to Steam’s official usage statistics, Windows 8′s combined usage share, across both normal and 64 bit versions, is 4.69%.

For a nascent and controversial operating system, that figure is hardly poor. OS X, for example, across all its listed versions, controls but a mere 3.26% of the Steam market. Steam, a massively popular gaming platform and store for PC gaming, is a key component of the larger game market.

That Windows 8 has managed to snag nearly 5% heading into the holiday seasons may imply that by the end 0f Q1 2013, Windows 8 could account for a firm 10% of the Steam usage base. As you certainly expected, Windows 7 retains the largest piece of Steam usership: 72.56%.

Interestingly, there appears to be much low hanging fruit, even among the gaming userbase, a generally tech-forward group: 8.07% of Steam usership is conducted on computers running Windows Vista, an aging operating system, and 10.83% on Windows XP, an ancient build that is rapidly running out of official support.

In short, Windows 8 does not have to convert a single Windows 7 user to its side to pick up nearly 25% of the gaming market, as it can simply poach from the past to propel itself into the future.

Paul Thurrott, who brought the numbers to our attention, noted that the hype from Steam’s Gabe Newell was a touch overblown. “Looks like its OS X that’s the catastrophe, Gabe,” Thurott went on to say. TNW has to shrug our shoulders in agreement. Gamers, it seem, are perfectly content to pick up systems running Windows 8 and keep on gaming.

For reference, Windows 8 has passed the 40 million licence-sold mark, putting to rest a fair piece of the speculation that the operating system was a flop. The operating system recently passed the 25,000 app mark as well.

Top Image Credit: BUILDWindows