According to Valve’s February Steam hardware and software survey, the Oculus Rift is now the most used VR headset on the Steam platform, taking the market share of VR headsets on Steam with a near 2% lead over its competitor HTC Vive. This is the first time Rift has surpassed Vive in Valve’s monthly survey.
Each month, Valve runs the 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 for the month of February show the Vive losing 1.58% marketshare since January’s survey, which, combined with Rift’s gain of 1.22%, shows Oculus’ headset taking majority hold on the platform.
While Steam acts as the de facto content store for HTC Vive users, it also supports Rift too, meaning anyone with either headset can simply download any of the VR games there. Rifters however have access to their own exclusive content store, meaning some users can choose not to buy or connect via Steam, instead only downloading content from the Oculus Store.
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. Some analyst estimates put the Vive ahead of the Rift in total sales, though in the consumer space, Oculus’ aggressive price cutting has allowed the headset to gain significant ground over the course of the last few months.
Without complete data, it’s impossible to say exactly why one headset is more popular than the other, although we stipulate one important reason; price. An entire Oculus Rift setup, including Touch controllers, only costs $400, while its contemporary HTC Vive still costs $600.
Outside of the what appears to be a two-sided battle, there’s still a contingent of Oculus DK2 owners still playing through Steam. The DK2, which launched in 2014, still holds 1.95% of the total share of VR headsets in use on Steam, a slight uptick from January’s reported 1.78%.
Windows “Mixed Reality” VR headsets, despite being offered by several established manufacturers ranging from $250 to $450, have only increased by 0.19% reported usage since January’s survey.
The latest figures report a 0.02% increase in overall VR headset use when compared to the entire Steam population.