According to latest set of data from Valve’s monthly Steam Hardware & Software survey, the number of VR headsets on Steam has reached a new record. Meanwhile, the Vive Pro and Windows VR headsets have reached new peaks in their share of VR headsets on Steam.

Each month, Valve runs a survey among Steam users to determine some baseline statistics about what kind of hardware and software is used by the user population, and to see how things are changing over time; that includes which VR headsets are connected to users’ computers. Participation in the survey is optional.

According to the December figures, overall VR usership on Steam has hit a new milestone: 0.8% of all users have headsets attached to their PCs; almost double the count from 16 months ago.

Data courtesy Valve, chart by Road to VR

While that figure is still very small compared to the overall Steam population, the scale of Steam means that 0.8% represents a substantial number of headsets; using refined methodology which we previously detailedRoad to VR estimates the current number of monthly attached VR headsets on Steam around 767,000, it’s highest ever.

Actual sales across all PC VR headsets will be significantly higher than this figure, as it only counts those who have a headset attached to their computer at the time that the Steam Survey data is collected—and of course only counts those with Steam installed in the first place.

Looking deeper into the marketshare of specific headsets on Steam, the December numbers show the Oculus Rift furthering its lead, now at 46.45% (+0.57%) over the HTC Vive’s 40.82% (−1.94%). The Vive’s losses are cushioned somewhat by pickup from the Vive Pro, which at 2.81% (+0.31%) has reached a new all-time high in headset share after eight months of continuous growth.

Image courtesy Valve

The big and perhaps unexpected winner in December is Windows VR headsets, which got the biggest bite from the Vive’s losses; collectively at 8.89% (+1.05%), the headsets reached a new peak in headset share also following eight months of continuous growth. This is perhaps due to the near-constant availability of steep discounts, along with the recent launch of the Samsung Odyssey+.

Interestingly, a relatively unknown headset, the Huawei VR 2, has made its first mark on the headset share chart in December, claiming 0.02% share among VR headsets on Steam.

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  • Vale’s?

    • benz145

      Thanks for spotting that, fixed!

      • Proof XR Lab

        Here’s another aspect to consider; a good number of Reddit users on the Oculus Reddit have been complaining about performance and compatibility using SteamVR with their Rift’s.

        Open Composite is one solution, others talk of just buying titles from Oculus Home to get stable performance and no startup issues.

        I know personally, I’ve recently had to get refunds on several VR purchases from Steam for my Rift which failed to work properly, despite being tagged as Oculus compatible. Doom VFR is a known one, with “stutter” when turning your head, regardless of system specifications (I’m using a 8086K@5.3 / RTX 2080Ti)

        There could be a substantial swathe of Rift users not using SteamVR, which inflates the overall PC VR user base even further. How we can ever get reliable metrics on the PC VR user base is beyond me, your article is probably the best approach to get some meaningful numbers.

        • Jistuce

          The Steam hardware survey shows the people that use Steam and have a VR headset connected to their PC, not people that buy VR games on Steam or even have SteamVR installed. Given that the kind of computers necessary to drive VR are almost exclusively built for games, most of them are going to wind up with Steam installed.

          So it should still catch a good percentage of people that buy VR titles exclusively from the Oculus store, just because they still have Steam for flatscreen software.

          • benz145

            Yup. And surely there are some people that have a Rift but do no traditional gaming involving Steam. Nobody really knows that figure, but I’d be quite surprised if it was higher than 10%.

        • rabs

          Well, I have a Vive plugged in but powered off when I’m not using VR.

          The first time I was surveyed, I forgot to flip the switch on and it wasn’t counted in.

          Maybe in China there are many Viveport only users too.

          All this is far from perfect, but we don’t have better…

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    TL;DR: the numbers are actually horrible, and that is a big problem.

    “Record number” sounds nice, but doesn’t say a lot about market size besides that it is not shrinking. The diagram shows data that seems to fit a trend line, so let’s do the math: the number of PCs with connected VR HMDs rose ~0.65% (0.15 % to 0.8%) in 32 months (2016-04 to 2018-12), so about 0.25% per year. If the trend remained remains linear, we’ll reach

    – 1% in 2019
    – 5% in 2035
    – 10% in 2055
    – 20% in 2095
    – 50% in 2215
    – 100% in 2415

    Not that impressive, and not exactly something that would entice developers to invest resources in “Designed for VR” games or Facebook/Valve/HTC to invest in high end PC VR.

    There are of course some caveats:
    – Making predictions about technology more than five years into the future is somewhere between stupid, ludicrous and insane.
    – The given numbers are only for Steam and only for connected HMDs. I own an HTC Vive, Rift DK1, DK2 and CV1, use both the Vive and Rift, but as only one is ever connected, these all count as one, if at all. And the PSVR sold multiple times the total install base of Vive, Rift and WMR.
    – The numbers are relative to active Steam users, and that count is increasing.
    – We are still in the early phase of consumer VR.
    – Mobile VR outsells PC VR by at least a factor of four (Gear VR + Oculus Go + Daydream + Vive Focus), not even counting the millions of cheap plastic 3D viewers and Cardboards.

    Nonetheless, I expected more. A lot more. I was blown away by the DK1, even by the first Cardboard. I had waited for a long time and I still have some DIY VR books from the mid 90s plus a Logitech Cyberman and an Amiga “3D/VR Construction Kit” stashed away somewhere. I fully expected VR to take the world by storm. Not a huge storm, but a storm.

    0.8% after about five years (DK1) is not a storm. That’s not even a mild breeze. The numbers are so bad, that even if the Valve data is way off due to mentioned caveats and the user base is actually ten times as large, they still wouldn’t be good.

    Technically VR is now 50 years old (The Sword of Damocles, Ivan Sutherland, 1968). I’ve tried commercial HMDs in the 90s (Virtual Research’s “Flight Helmet”, 240 * 120 pixels per eye), and just comparing DK1 to CV1 or Cardboard to Oculus Go the huge leaps in technology are very clear. Obviously VR hardware will become much better and cheaper in just a few years, which will get more people on board. And the quality of VR software has improved even more, as developers learn how to effectively use VR as a platform.

    But we made the same argument regarding the DK1 and DK2, and a lot of people consider the Rift CV1 or Vive to be perfectly usable today, even if resolution, FoV, comfort and quality of experiences all need to improve a lot more. Prices and hardware requirement have come down to where not only enthusiasts can justify buying an HMD. And every single “normal” person I demonstrated either Google Earth on PC or Google Streetview/Wander on Daydream/Go to said they wanted one.

    Only it doesn’t seem enough. I do VR development for industrial visualization and interaction testing, which is a niche where limited usage time hides comfort issues and the benefits justify high development cost even for a very small number of users. For me the total VR user base is still important, because improving VR technology is expensive, and requires splitting the cost over a lot of buyers.

    Consumer VR became possible for cheap due to smart phone technology, which is a 3 billion plus user market. We now need higher resolution displays and optics that have no secondary use outside of VR, so it is not safe to assume that the rate of improvement we had since the DK1 can be even sustained. I hated when Facebook bought Oculus, but today I have to agree that this was the best thing that could happen due to their deep pockets, which VR now needs.

    I love VR. I believe in VR. I’m willing to bet a lot on VR as a valid career path. VR will not go away. It will become better and better and find more usages and users. But nonetheless VR is in trouble, the acceptance rate is much lower than what VR enthusiasts expected.

    Talking about “record numbers” is technically correct. But this is us sitting in our own bubble telling other VR fans that everything is basically fine and the future will solve the remaining issues. What is missing is a more serious discussion beyond current tech spec limits about why for the majority of potential users VR is simply not worth the hassle, and how their actual needs could be better met.

    • Arcticu Kitsu

      Yeah, VR numbers don’t seem impressive to developers currently shy and skittish about entering the VR market, or simply supporting it on the side. Tower Unite developers noted how the numbers were “low” saying how they won’t prioritize adding VR. I respect their decision, yet I find that in itself the issue though because if you don’t add VR support then what VR games shall you play? Even though we have solid VR titles to play that mentality is killer to VR support simply by sidelining VR when it should instead be supported where possible. I’m not wanting to throw them under the bus because they still do plan to have VR support, it’s just ‘low numbers’ reasoning is frustrating. I’m finding developers are using “low numbers” as an excuse when able, similar to Ubisoft’s “It’s hard to model woman” excuse. If you reach out to VR halfway then VR shall reach out halfway to them in return. 50/50… Respect goes both ways, thus you’re seeing PSVR benefiting from how Sony is shouldering the development costs for smaller VR developers. [Replying to your “enticing developers” & second last paragraph if it doesn’t make sense.]

      I hate when developers make excuses as to why they can’t make games for VR (VR supported), resorting to low numbers as their reasoning. OF COURSE the numbers are low if you’re not going to god damn support it. There won’t be magical supports, unless you side yourself with Sony Playstation shouldering the costs, thus why we’re seeing a high adoption rate for PSVR side… Lead by example, and that example is Sony, Spicytails (Spice and Wolf VR), Bethesda, and even Ubisoft; The latter two at the very least testing out VR. Many other games quietly gaining VR support without the whining other game developers make, or so I’ve seen.

      ———

      On a side note when reading the final paragraph in above comment:

      My message to RoadVR is to praise games they haven’t yet. I wanted to tell RoadtoVR to check out ‘Furious Seas’, Scanner Sombre, among other games they haven’t blogged about. Mainly Furious Seas because of how solid that game is even at an early state while maturing gradually every month.

      Lastly, I honestly wish Bandai-Namco would release a good Gundam VR game for both PSVR & PC Steam market, then you’ll see a noticable hit to the market. War Robots VR needs to retry their crowdfunding again, though we do have ‘Vox Machae’, for now. Needs more PVE mecha games. Bandai-Namco could easily reap the rewards here, at the very least PSVR side. A shame I’m hearing no word about it.

      • AnuVlad

        Skyrim, one of the most well sold and hailed RPGs in history and DOOM (2016), the most popular shooter of that year and a continuation of the most popular shooter franchise of all time could not sell VR to people.

        Stop making excuses. VR has failed ever since it’s inception in the 90s. NO ONE WANTS TO PUT GIANT ASS $800-$1200 HEADSETS ON THEIR FUCKING FACE JUST TO PLAY A GAME!!

        • Arcticu Kitsu

          You have your facts all jumbled all around. They’re not even facts…….

          Skyrim & Fallout VR both help. You also have to look at Beat Saber, Pavlov, VRchat, Superhot VR, Furious Seas, Blade & Sorcery, Audica, V-Racer Hoverbike, & etc. There’s countless games, and people are buying headsets to play them. Just because you don’t want it to happen doesn’t mean it’s not happening. You also sound like a parrot.

          Excuses? No excuses. The ones making excuses are AAA game developers constantly saying how hard it is to make games while trying to cheat their consumers out of every single penny possible.

          Actually, yes… People want to put a light headset on their head, and it’s not as heavy as people have claimed. I mean, look at all those Twitch streams of people playing VR up for 5-10 hours, or even more. People marathon play VR games because they’re fun. They play as long as their controllers contain charge.

          You’re just blind and a parrot, it can’t be helped.

    • benz145

      Some good discussion points here, though worth addressing a few assumptions:

      Regarding the line on the graph — I just threw a linear line on there because I wanted to visually bridge the data gap for people. I should had paid more attention to making sure the line was representative of the data. I’ve just updated the chart with the line that best describes the data, and indeed we do get a slight upward curve.

      Additionally, the data is percent of Steam users who have VR headsets connected to their computers. Steam is also growing, which means that even if the chart was completely flaw with no growth from month to month, the actual number of VR headsets attached to Steam would still be increasing according to the rate that Steam itself is growing.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        TL;DR: unless we find VR uses besides immersive gaming, the inconvenience will make it irrelevant to most people and the market will remain too small to justify developing for it, even in 10 years with the Rift 4 or Quest 3.

        IMHO the focus on market penetration changes at such a low level just distracts from the big picture, the core question why after years the numbers are still minuscule. But I’ll adjust my estimates to include rising Steam account numbers and a more optimistic HMD owner growth to see if time will actually solve the problems.

        Assuming the current 0.8% were fully achieved since 2016, we get a slightly higher linear growth of 0.3% per year. Factoring in the exponential growth of Steam accounts since 2006 of ~25% (now slowing down), we get a nicer factor for absolute HMD number development: years * 0.3 * 1.25 ^ years. Relative numbers are still bad, the 100% mark moves to the year 2349. The absolute count is more impressive due to the growth of Steam. That gives us 15x the number of todays HMDs in 2024 and 100x in 2029.

        This looks much better, but is it really? At OC5 Zuckerberg estimated that a VR platform like Rift, Go or Vive needs 10M owners to make it sustainable for developers. Assuming continued exponential Steam growth these 10M will be reached ~2025 +-1. (And in 18 years every single human has a Steam account, which seems too optimistic, so don’t bet your money on 2025.)

        The Zuckerberg estimate is quite relevant. VR users complain about the lack of VR support in games, but if you run the numbers, supporting VR is simply a bad business decision, at least until 2025. Few developers can afford to lose money that long, hoping their games help grow the market sufficiently before they go broke.

        Today even huge VR hits like “Job Simulator” or “I expect you to die”, both out since 2016 and available on PCVR and PSVR, are small by gaming standards. Both passed 3M USD revenue, selling probably ~150K units, meaning ~3% of all PS/PCVR uses bought them. Beat Saber seems to be the only (pure) VR game that is even more successful with an install base > 200K (SteamSpy).

        Some regular game hits for comparison: GTA V made 1B USD in the first three days alone, and by 2018 had sold 100M copies. “Clash of Clans” on mobile generated about 2B in 2017, Fortnite 3B in 2018. From a AAA publisher point of view, VR doesn’t exist as a market.

        Adding VR support to existing games makes little economic sense either. You can turn any Unity first person game with gamepad support into a shitty VR game in minutes, but adding proper VR controls and changing the game play and mechanics to fit VR takes a lot of effort. Those who dare to release VR games on Steam for gamepads and without proper hand controller support are met by angry comments and downvotes. Which can be avoided by not supporting VR in the first place, and the low number of potential VR buyers is rarely worth the risk of bad reviews.

        Most smaller VR developers work on VR because they love it and despite (or blissfully ignoring) a high probability of never getting payed, making it more of an expensive hobby. Some survive by doing contract or niche jobs, and very few are sufficiently talented and lucky to earn enough money to continue developing other VR projects.

        This will not change until the market is at least a magnitude larger than today, which is why the current low user acceptance is such a big problem. And even if the absolute number of headsets increases to a point where the average developer can sell enough to recoup their cost, the small relative market share will still make it irrelevant for AAA studios.

        Most current VR users and developers argue about the success fo VR with (survival) bias: they were blown away by the experience, love the immersion, can deal with the technical setup, don’t suffer from nausea, are okay with strapping things to their heads and don’t mind isolating themselves completely from their environment. They love VR and are sure that everybody else will too, if only they give it a proper try, if only the resolution gets better or if only Valve releases HL3 VR. The added immersion is worth it all and the experience is so much better than gaming on a flat screen.

        These assumptions might be wrong. The best solution doesn’t always win. PCs offer the best gaming experience, yet more people play on consoles. And the mobile gaming market trumps both. Convenience wins, as seen in camera phones, MP3 players and Roomba robots. VR will not succeed simply because it is more immersive. If you check the numbers, people aren’t looking for immersion or presence, instead they pump billions into short and colorful battle royal matches and free to play games with tons of micro-transactions.

        Most people don’t care for VR, have no use for VR, consider VR way too much hassle and not worth it beyond the initial wow effect. But to get the VR market to an economically sustainable size, we need these people that care about other things than the VR enthusiasts. That’s why the lack of acceptance is a much bigger problem than any technical issue, and why neither better HMDs nor better games alone will solve this.

        Today most VR games are just regular games in VR. Outside the “manipulating physical objects with your hands” category, very few of the current VR games need VR, it just adds to the immersion. Most would be easier to play without VR, so for someone unimpressed by the experience they are actually worse. Tetris Effect is spectacular in VR, but this is 100% visuals and immersion, 0% gameplay. Not enough for most people to consider playing Tetris in VR instead of on their phone.

        To get these people, we have to find something other than wow effect and immersion. Facebook is betting on social, making VR more like a telepresence platform for shared experiences. Maybe social will work. Maybe virtual travel will be the killer app. But it has to be something that cannot be done without VR to get people to overcome the inherent inconvenience.

        So my big picture is: The current record numbers aren’t a sign of slow, but steady growth that will lead to success. They are a sign of insufficient use cases and usability that will prevent the success. VR is not and for many years will not be “worth it”, unless you really value the immersion or have a very specific use for it. Most people don’t, so unless we find uses for VR beyond “added immersion” and niches, the market will stay too small to justify the development of titles that can touch the real potential of VR.

        This argument comes from someone who loves VR. But this makes me part of a very small minority. I want VR to reach its full potential, which will not happen unless the larger majority also gets on board. And this will not happen unless the VR community stops reiterating that VR is/will be great for everyone and starts asking what those not convinced by VR are actually looking for.

        • Proof XR Lab

          I’ve been using VR since early 1990’s, I have put 100’s of people through PC VR sessions using contemporary system, very few (handful) went on to purchase their own systems.

          My thoughts from EGX last year:-

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4c7b1580b2d48c9e655fd939a5f9ca83c7c9c6c1149505858560777999107763.jpg

          • user_1

            I respectfully disagree with the “gaming is where the early adoption happens” sentiment. In B2C, entertainment is where most of the money is made. All those other uses will help adoption probably, but VR is always going to be primarily used and marketed for gaming.

    • Matthew Lake

      I expect it will double every year.

      July 2016 it was around 0.2%, July 2017 around 0.4% and July 2018 around 0.7%

      In under 3 years.

      Here’s how it’s roughly gonna go:

      Dec 2019 – 2.0%
      Dec 2020 – 4.0%
      Dec 2021 – 8.0%
      Dec 2022 – 16%
      Dec 2023 – 32%

      This doesn’t even include all the users that hardly use steam or don’t use it at all. Eventually it’ll slow down where the last few cling to their monitors, but most of them will jump into VR as well at some point.

      This is the kind of growth we see with lots of new technologies. including the internet.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Dec 2024 – 64%
        Dec 2025 – 128%
        Dec 2026 – 256%
        Dec 2027 – 512%

        No more doubling possible after 2027, as we just reached 6.8B HMDs (based on 150M Steam accounts in 2018 and a 25% yearly user increase), so there are only 1.2B people left on the planet that don’t have a VR headset yet. Alternatively every human on the planet owns two in December 2028. Or maybe extrapolating continued exponential growth from three very rough data points with values below 1 that are based on estimates is not really a statistically sound method.

        You also overestimate the growth of the internet. It started in 1968, grew steadily to 16M users in 1995, then started doubling the numbers every year till 1998 due to the introduction of the web to the masses. Had it continued to add 100% each year after that, this would have lead to a thousandfold increase by 2008, while in reality it grew to “only” ten times the size. From 2017 to 2018 the number of users increased by 8%.

        Growth spurts with 100% increases per year usually only happen in the early phases of a technology, when the user numbers are very small, and only for short times, because such growth rates aren’t sustainable. VR might still see such a grow due to network effects, e.g. if lots of people start meeting their friends and family in VR, causing them to also start using VR, but we are very far from this point, if it ever happens at all.

        • Matthew Lake

          I’m aware that exponential growth won’t go on forever, it’ll start to level of at some point, but I don’t think we’re anywhere near that yet. I was also just predicting growth within the steam ecosystem. I reckon it’ll level off around 70-80% and then slow down after that.

          As for VR on the broader scale, VR total units sold will grow exponentially for many years yet. Mark Zuckerberg’s prediction of 1 billion headsets sold by around 2030 is likely in my opinion.

          Perhaps another 2 years data from Steam we’ll get a better idea. PSVR data is interesting too because we see the same thing:

          Dec 2018 = 4 Million (estimate based on PSVR subs and units sold)
          Dec 2017 = 2 Million
          Feb 2017 = 915,000
          October Launch.

          Internet growth
          http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/chart14.jpg

          http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/chart13.jpg

          Quote:
          “The following two charts show the overall growth of the Internet based on the number of hosts. These two charts plot the same data, but one is on an exponential axis and the other is linear. As I pointed out earlier, whereas technology progresses in the exponential domain, we experience it in the linear domain. So from the perspective of most observers, nothing was happening until the mid 1990s when seemingly out of nowhere, the world wide web and email exploded into view. But the emergence of the Internet into a worldwide phenomenon was readily predictable much earlier by examining the exponential trend data.”

          “Notice how the explosion of the Internet appears to be a surprise from the Linear Chart, but was perfectly predictable from the Exponential Chart”

          Source http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of-accelerating-returns

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Be aware that the graph for internet growth shows hosts, not users. A host is basically an IP address, so it is software and can easily be replicated. Counting the number of devices and virtual server I run, there are probably around 50 internet hosts run just by me, and thanks to IoT this number will grow a lot in the future.

            I also have a Vive, DK1, DK2, CV1, Daydream, Oculus Go, at least 10 Chinese 3D viewers, about 8 Cardboard 2 and 20-30 Cardboard 1 (I bought a lot to give away as presents to people interested in VR). So I also represent 50 VR HMDs (with a sufficiently flexible definition of HMD). But I still count as only one in the Steam survey.

            Internet hosts -> exponential growth possible and sustainable
            Internet users -> growth limited by actual number of people and the fact that they have to volunteer

    • kontis

      4K monitors, which are OLDER and FAR, FAR more mainstream are used by only 1.42%.

      Is that horrible too? Not really. These are good numbers for cutting edge, expensive hardcore/geek stuff.

    • Trenix

      All of this is speculation, being that the surveys are unreliable. Also as long as there is growth, there is potential. This is still the startup phase, all we need is someone to find a way to make VR cheap, convenient, and effective. At that point, growth will not be linear, it will explode. VR isn’t going to die anytime soon and none of this is really as bad as it seems.

      We don’t need big cooperation to invest into VR headsets for simply profit, which is what we’re currently seeing. We instead need entrepreneurs. Lets not forget the reason we have VR headsets was because of a kickstarter, not Facebook.

    • MosBen

      It’s a fallacy to simply extend trends indefinitely into the future. It’s possible that no second gen HMDs will come, and VR will die off as people lose interest. It’s also possible that a new generation of devices will come out and sell a bunch of units, or at least enough to substantially increase the percentage of Steam users with VR. Or maybe Steam will die off as a resource used by PC gamers, and won’t be a good way to estimate overall VR adoption.

      We’re fairly late now in the first generation of consumer VR HMDs. It’s good that the numbers continue to increase, and that VR is continuing to attract more eyeballs, both on PC and on Playstation. As long as we don’t see increasing numbers of hardware and software devs quitting VR, we’re ok.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Ssshh don’t tell the kool aid drinkers and other stooges how numbers work…everything is fine and VR is exploding!

      • Arcticu Kitsu

        Kool aid drinkers…. Right back at you with the way you wrote that posting.

        Everything is fine, but I will however change the “exploding” to “growing” to make it more appropriate, and less mocking. People are seeing the benefits of it with the market steadily growing. The problem, as always, is how someone has to do all the hard work to the point where AAA game companies shall swoop in pretending they’ve done all the hard work. Indie developers doing all the hard work with Sony Playstation. At the very least Sony (Playstation) is shouldering majority of the VR costs so developers can make their games they desire to make without worrying, thus why PSVR is selling the most and why the adoption rate is the highest for PSVR.

        But yeah… I get it, it was a hastily made sarcastic joke.

    • sebrk

      Yeah, nothing in technology has been that linear. Obviously we are still in the early days of VR and mass adoption comes with ease of access. I think the industry is perfectly fine with that.

  • Interesting to see that WMR are slowly getting always more market shares

    • Tom Szaw

      Samsung Odyssey+ is the reason and other WMR headsets, sold for 199 or 299 USD, while offering the best technology and quality in VR. For Odyssey+ there is no competition now. It is the best VR headset.

  • Ombra Alberto

    The numbers seem low and linear.
    But it’s just a deception.

    There will be periods of slow growth with periods of high demand.

    As devices and games improve VR growth and growth will become exponential.

    But it takes 2 or 3 years. Not before.

  • mellott124

    A nice Virtual Boy number.

    • Jistuce

      Already more successful than my VB was. Remember, the VB was in production for less than a year.

      • mellott124

        Yes, less than a year and shipped 770,000 units. Pretty successful even though its always highlighted as a failure.

        • Jistuce

          I like the VB, make no mistake. But it was flawed hardware and was never going to be sustainable as a “real system”. Most of the units sold were because of the Nintendo name, and a lot of those customers were disappointed.

          I like something Miyamoto said in an interview, though. The Virtual Boy didn’t fail Nintendo, Nintendo failed the Virtual Boy. It wasn’t allowed to be a neat toy, it had to be this blockbuster game system of the future and marketing was going to push it like that.

  • Tom Szaw

    Wait… why WMR is an unexpected winner??? VERY EXPECTED WINNER. Samsung Odyssey+ for example, the best VR headset available today (better than Vive Pro crap sold 3x-5x more expensive) was sold for 299$ on Black Friday. I bought it from Europe, like many other people. WMR is a winner, because of the best tech, the best OLED screen and it is able to play Rift games, Vive games and WMR games and apps. Who and why would buy Rift now? Old hardware, with base stations, low resolution, bad build quality and worse setup than WMR. Roadtovr, think before you write such opinions.

    • gothicvillas

      Yes but wmr tracking will never match Vive base stations. I know it’s almost there but that little off % is enough for me to hold on for now.

      • MosBen

        I’m not a technical expert, but my guess is that inside out tracking has a lot more potential for improvement compared to outside in. Inside out may be not quite good enough today, but it seems like the future that we’re heading to to me. Not needing base stations means manufacturers can simply their manufacturing process, spend less to build a unit, spend less to ship a unit, and simplify their tech support/warranty process. Consumers get a product that doesn’t require setting up three extra devices which need cords slung around a room, and the ability to use their VR gear in other rooms if their PC is reasonably portable. I would expect all next gen HMDs to use inside out tracking.

        • dogtato

          All of the improvements you described are about cost and convenience, but I’m skeptical that inside-out tracking has more potential for actual performance, in terms of accuracy, tracking loss, and probably computation speed too.

          • MosBen

            I think that lumping cost into convenience undersells is a bit. Mass adoption requires the ability to sell the product at retail prices that most people can afford, and a big part or that is how much it costs to build and ship a unit.

            As for performance, keep in mind that I said that it has more potential for improvement, not that the absolute best outside in tracking would be inferior to the absolute best inside out tracking. I’m just saying that inside out probably will improve in subsequent generations. Eventually it will be good enough such that the benefits of not needing base stations will be more important. Indeed, I’m reasonably confident that we’re already close to that point and next gen HMDs will be inside out as a result.

      • Tom Szaw

        Vive Pro for 500% of price and with screen-door effect is not worth the 15% better tracking.

    • benz145

      Unexpected because the Windows VR headsets don’t seem to have as much brand recognition among consumers as the other big players. But you’re right, they’re a good value and that seems to be leading them to slow growth against incumbents.

    • NooYawker

      Is this a serious post? Odyssey has slightly better resolution but far inferior tracking.

      • Veron

        It doesn’t have ‘far inferior’ tracking. Its tracking is good enough for most use cases, and it makes up for its lapses by being far more portable and ‘plug-and-play’ friendly than the likes of the Vive and Rift.

        • NooYawker

          “good enough for most cases” is fine for some people I guess.

      • Tom Szaw

        I am using Odyssey+. The tracking is very very good. Only sensitive to low-light. The room must be well lit and that’s it. See Odyssey+ costs between 299$ and 499$. That is 1/5 or 1/3 of Vive Pro price (which has screen-door effect). We are not talking about 10-30% more money. We are talking about 300% – 500% price. Vive Pro should die. HTC is a greedy company and they must accustom to the reality or fail.

  • FriendlyCard

    The Rift would not exist at the quality / decent pricepoint it is at, without the huge financial backing of Facebook. They’re doing it mainly because they want to be the main “go to” brand for VR in the future – they expect it to be massively profitable in the future, years from now. Currently, VR is not profitable enough for the majority of larger devs to get involved, so without big name titles, most people view VR as a niche device without titles to purchase, and so they won’t buy one. If only they knew there are hundreds of VR games/experiences by indie devs, that are AAA quality.

    • benz145

      Hundreds of experiences made by indie devs that are AAA quality? Not to say that there isn’t some great content available in VR today, but there’s really only a handful of games and experiences that could be considered AAA.

      • FriendlyCard

        If you define AAA is “a quality game from a big studio”, then yes. But AAA means high quality, not the size or name of the studio. And there are hundreds of high quality experiences/games in VR on Steam alone.

        • Veron

          AAA doesn’t mean ‘high quality’. Super Meat Boy is not an AAA game.

          “As per Wikipedia: In the video game industry, AAA (pronounced “triple A”) or Triple-A is a classification term used for games with the highest development budgets and levels of promotion. A title considered to be AAA is therefore expected to be a high quality game or to be among the year’s bestsellers.”

          It has more to do with the budget and scale.

          • MosBen

            Exactly, AAA refers both to quality but also to the resources used to create it. There are certainly some indie games that surpass some AAA in terms of fun or quality, but bigger developers releasing AAA games for a platform is a sign that they believe that the platform can justify the cost of AAA development.

          • FriendlyCard

            Sigh.

          • MosBen

            Why sigh?

          • FriendlyCard

            What I meant was, there are hundreds of high quality experiences in VR, but many are generally unnoticed because they’re not from big name devs, and the indie devs don’t usually have money to market.

    • dogtato

      The only VR game I’ve played that I’d consider AAA is Lone Echo. Other stuff like Superhot, Robo Recall, Raw Data, and Arizona Sunshine get close. Desktop games like Skyrim and Fallout are not good enough ports to be AAA in VR.

  • DaKangaroo

    So VR gaming is now on par with Linux gaming! Both at 0.8%!

    (That’s not a jab at Linux, I am a Linux gamer. >_>)

  • oompah

    while steam itself in retrograde
    soln. : have more servers or
    mabbee let google takeover gaming
    which is making great progress

    • DaKangaroo

      Hell no! Google controls enough of the world, don’t give them anything more.

  • Sami

    Normal games feels so flat and boring after playing vr games. Its realy nice to see the quality of the VR games and headsets improving.

    • Unless you play them in 3D or holographic. Not as immersive as VR, but no headset and more players can join together

    • Arcticu Kitsu

      Whenever I play desktop games after having played VR games I keep gesturing thinking I’m still in VR. There’s just so much more to see in VR, VRchat, and such. Horror games are far scarier because you’re actually there, not shielded by distance between you and a monitor.