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.
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.
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.