According to the latest figures from Steam’s Hardware & Software Survey, the Oculus Rift has picked up an additional 3.1% of the market share of VR headsets on Steam. On the trail end of a major summer sale, the headset has set its new record high for the third month in a row. The HTC Vive maintains the majority with 50.2% share of headsets in use on Steam, but the Rift looms near.

Steam is the de facto content platform for the HTC Vive though it technically supports the Rift too; plenty of Rifters use both the official Oculus Home platform and Steam to play content which may not be available on the opposing platform.

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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.

The latest results show a sizeable gain of 3.1% in the Rift’s share of VR headsets on Steam, bringing the device’s overall share to a new record high, reaching 46.9% of all headsets in use on the platform.

The gain was made up mostly by a 2.1% reduction in Vive share and the remaining 0.9% from a reduction in the Rift DK2 development kit. The latter, launched in 2014, still holds 3.0% total share of VR headsets in use on Steam; combined the consumer Rift and the Rift DK2 hold 49.9% of the Steam VR headset market share.

With Steam as its primary content platform, the Vive naturally holds onto the majority share at 50.2% of all VR headsets on the platform, though at 46.9%, the Rift is within striking distance.

Exactly how many Rift users use Steam among the total population of Rift users is unknown, making it largely futile to extrapolate the data in an effort to determine headset market share across all platforms. However, many analyst estimates put the Vive ahead of the Rift in total sales.

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The Rift’s 3.1% gain comes on the tail end of the ‘Summer of Rift’ sale, which reduced the price of the Rift & Touch controllers from $600 to $400. The sale came to an end on September 4th, bringing the non-sale price for a new all-in-one Rift & Touch bundle to $500. A portion of the gains may have been made up not by new headsets entering the market, but by more Rift users becoming aware of Steam’s compatibility with the Rift. Another contributor could be the expansion of HTC’s Viveport app store and the Viveport subscription service, potentially drawing some Vive users away from Steam.

While the Rift enjoyed significant buzz surrounding its lengthy sale, HTC recently brought a major price cut to Vive, setting its new baseline price at $600 (previously $800), which likely helped level out Oculus’ momentum from August to September. HTC said the price cut was not a reaction to the Rift sale.

While the Rift and Vive fight it out on Steam, new competitors are soon to complicate the binary battle. The Windows VR headsets are due to launch this month at $400. Although the headsets will support Steam VR it isn’t clear if October’s Steam’s Hardware & Software Survey figures will include those headsets since the compatibility won’t be ready for launch.

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  • GreasyMullet

    This should shock nobody. What we really want to see here is both SteamVR and Oculus grew their total market share which means more people investing in VR. Any growth in VR is a win for everyone. Keep the prices coming down and experiences rolling out.

  • ShiftyInc

    So most likely they already surpassed it then, as a bunch of people don’t use Steam VR with their Rift. But very good to see an overall bump in people picking up VR headsets.

    • Caven

      While I’m sure there are a lot of Rift users who don’t use SteamVR, I have trouble believing there are a lot of Rift users who don’t use Steam at all. The Steam Hardware Survey works based on detected and reported hardware, not how it’s being used.

      That being said, unless people start throwing away headsets en masse, changes to the numbers in the survey are going to be because of the addition of headsets to the VR ecosystem, which can only be a good thing for the future of VR. The Rift is clearly doing quite well, having gained a lot of marketshare.

      • ShiftyInc

        Well you need to have both active, So Steam and the VR headset has to be out of standby for it to register on the Hardware scales. Just having it plugged in while Steam is open doesn’t register it as you having the hardware.

        • Griffin

          there is also a number of users in china not being counted using the HTC viveport

        • Caven

          Not true. I finally got around to doing a test on this by manually starting the Dota 2 Hardware Survey. I plugged the Rift into a computer that’s physically incapable of running the Rift properly (Microsoft Surface Pro 3, with only one USB 3.0 port and no HDMI connection, so all I could do was plug the headset in by itself without video). After plugging in the Rift, I immediately started the Dota 2 Hardware Survey. I made no attempt to install Oculus software or anything else. I left the headset sitting on my lap. The screens were off, and the amber sensor light inside the Rift was on. After the survey generated its results, I scrolled through the list and found the following entry:

          VR Headset: Oculus Rift detected

          I also ran the CS:GO Hardware Survey and got the same results. Just for fun, I’ll post the complete results of the Dota 2 Hardware Survey in another post.

          • Caven

            Computer Information:
            Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation
            Model: Surface Pro 3
            Form Factor: Laptop
            Touch Input Detected

            Processor Information:
            CPU Vendor: GenuineIntel
            CPU Brand: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4300U CPU @ 1.90GHz
            CPU Family: 0x6
            CPU Model: 0x45
            CPU Stepping: 0x1
            CPU Type: 0x0
            Speed: 2494 Mhz
            4 logical processors
            2 physical processors
            HyperThreading: Supported
            FCMOV: Supported
            SSE2: Supported
            SSE3: Supported
            SSSE3: Supported
            SSE4a: Unsupported
            SSE41: Supported
            SSE42: Supported
            AES: Supported
            AVX: Supported
            CMPXCHG16B: Supported
            LAHF/SAHF: Supported
            PrefetchW: Supported

            Operating System Version:
            Windows 10 (64 bit)
            NTFS: Supported
            Crypto Provider Codes: Supported 311 0x0 0x0 0x0

            Video Card:
            Driver: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family
            DirectX Driver Name: igdumdim32.dll
            Driver Version: 20.19.15.4568
            DirectX Driver Version: 20.19.15.4568
            Driver Date: 12 16 2016
            OpenGL Version: 4.3
            Desktop Color Depth: 32 bits per pixel
            Monitor Refresh Rate: 59 Hz
            DirectX Card: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family
            VendorID: 0x8086
            DeviceID: 0xa16
            Revision: 0xb
            Number of Monitors: 1
            Number of Logical Video Cards: 1
            No SLI or Crossfire Detected
            Primary Display Resolution: 2160 x 1440
            Desktop Resolution: 2160 x 1440
            Primary Display Size: 10.00″ x 6.65″ (12.01″ diag)
            25.4cm x 16.9cm (30.5cm diag)
            Primary Bus Type Not Detected
            Primary VRAM: 1024 MB
            Supported MSAA Modes: 2x 4x 8x

            Sound card:
            Audio device: Speakers (Realtek High Definiti

            Memory:
            RAM: 4001 Mb

            Miscellaneous:
            UI Language: English
            Media Type: Undetermined
            Total Hard Disk Space Available: 115674 Mb
            Largest Free Hard Disk Block: 42189 Mb
            OS Install Date: Dec 31 1969
            Game Controller: None detected
            VR Headset: Oculus Rift detected

          • Caven

            Lol, no idea why it thinks I installed Windows 10 on Dec. 31st, 1969.

            And no, you can’t borrow my time machine.

  • John

    GOG too, in some cases. I have bought the Rift-compatible games on GOG, to go with those on Steam (Oculus store is my third choice). With VorpX I play some of my favourite games on my Rift, and again a number of them are on the GOG platform.

  • Anthony Hunt

    Now they need to stop making games platform exclusives. I’d rather games like Robo Recall wre on Steam as I like the game, but the front-end store for Oculus is less desirable.

    • Suitch

      Steam rips off developers. It is a closed ecosystem and they hold a near monopoly.

  • bschuler

    I would expect soon enough Microsoft’s cheap headsets will take from Rift’s market as the low end VR headset. While the Vive sales will continue to dwindle as more and more SteamVR headsets come out. Overall, SteamVR headsets with lighthouse tracking will probably end up the majority for gamers and high end headsets, while other cheaper camera tracking headsets will be the majority over all.

    • Suitch

      You do realize the Vive and Rift are at the very least equal in regards to all but the default play area size. With the Rift and a third sensor, which still costs less than the Vive, having better tracking in all play-space sizes?

      • Joel Miroi

        Could you provide a source for the Rift having better tracking since every AAA developer seem to disagree?

        • Get Schwifty!

          I would disagree the Oculus tracking is the equal of Vive, OTOH it’s good enough for all but the pickiest users with the current firmware updates. In return, can you post a source for your assertion every AAA developer seems to disagree?

  • oompah

    I am waiting for Skyrim @ VR

  • Jad

    How could the Vive have more sales now? ALL Vive users are on Steam, but not all Oculus Rift users are there. If they are basically neck to neck on Steam, then logically the Rift should be in front.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Someone said China users for instance are restricted to Viveport maybe?

  • Luke

    wait for Steam vr Fallout 4, Doom vfr, L.A. noire and skyrim vr (to play with oculus).

  • Konchu

    To me this is proof what people want cheaper hardware Oculus has a pretty long 399 sale. Bringing a whole new price point into the VR fold. Cheaper and more options will bring more this is going to be crazy after all the MS headsets get out too I image 200 setups are not far off.

    • Get Schwifty!

      I agree completely. Back in the 70’s (not so long for some of us) the original Atari 2600 sold like hotcakes… at a price in today’s dollars of I believe about $700… but it had all you needed. The difference was 1) it was novel and 2) anyone walking by was immediately drawn in …. VR has the problem of you have to put on a goofy headset to see it… something people hate to do in public at the mall… and muss up their beautiful hair. Price is part of it, experience is the other hurdle…

  • Get Schwifty!

    Yeah – Vive price break “had nothing to do with Oculus”… must get their press releases from North Korean speech writers…. “VIVE SHALL TURN OCULUS INTO FIERY WASTELAND FOR GLORIOUS LEADER AND FREE PEOPLE FOR VR”!