Though it’s Facebook’s newest headset, Oculus Quest may be the company’s most popular so far, at least as far as search volume is concerned. Kicking off the holiday shopping season on Black Friday, Quest dominated other VR headsets in search interest in the US. Worldwide, Quest tied with PSVR, the longstanding leader in holiday shopping search volume.
Relative Search Volume Among VR Headsets
When it comes to the most-searched-for headsets, there’s been three clear leaders during the 2016, ’17, and ’18 holiday shopping seasons: PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. Released earlier this year, Oculus Quest has entered the fray and made a big splash. According to Google Trends, Quest dominated search interest in the US over Black Friday weekend which marks the start of the holiday shopping season.
Peak search volume for Quest in the US was 1.6 times that of the next nearest headset, PlayStation VR, 2.9 times Oculus Rift, 5 times HTC Vive, and many times greater than other headsets like Valve Index, Oculus Go, Pimax, and Samsung Odyssey.
When it comes to peak worldwide search volume over Black Friday weekend (which factors in PSVR’s significant popularity in Europe), Quest was nearly tied with PlayStation VR, both of which significantly led Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, and others by 2 times or more.
What Can be Concluded from Search Volume?
Search volume is an interesting metric, but there’s too many variables at play here to determine which headset has actually sold best over the holiday period. For one, the data only includes searches through Google (though this covers 93% of all searches, according to StatCounter), and search volume is of course quite susceptible to marketing. So while we can see which headsets were the most popular in terms of searching, we can’t be sure how much of the volume is organic versus influenced by the amount of marketing money spent by Oculus, Sony, or others. We also don’t have a good way of knowing the rate at which searches actually convert to sales.
Among the leading headsets, only Sony has shared official sales figures for PSVR; the company announced back in March that it has sold-through 4.2 million PSVR headsets since the product’s launch in late 2016.
Sony’s willingness to share PSVR sales figures over the years has signaled pretty clearly that the company believes it is far out ahead of other headsets in unit sales; whether or not Sony offers a similar update to PSVR sales figures in 2020 will be a strong indicator of how happy (or not) the company was with sales of the headset over the holidays.
Oculus and others have never provided official sales figures for their headsets, though the apparent success of Quest thus far could inspire Facebook to do so for the first time, likely sometime next year.