In the latest set of data from Valve’s monthly Steam Hardware & Software survey, the Oculus Rift and Windows VR headsets posted gains in marketshare at the expense of the HTC Vive.
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 August numbers show the Oculus Rift furthering its slight lead in headset marketshare on Steam, now a seven month streak, at 47.11% (+0.93%) over the HTC Vive’s 42.58% (−1.77%). Meanwhile Windows VR headsets also nabbed a chunk of the Vive’s loses, now at 7.18% (+0.77%), continuing a trend of slow but steady growth.
The HTC Vive Pro, while not officially designated in the data, appears to be slowly sneaking into the standings, likely making up a missing 1.95% (+0.14%) of the pie.
According to the August figures, overall 0.74% (+0.09%) of the sampled Steam users had VR headsets connected to their computers at the time of the survey, representing a 68% growth in headsets on Steam over the same time last year. Hardware sales and content are major drivers for the VR headset figures seen on the Steam Hardware & Software Survey, but certainly not the only factors. New users joining Steam (who are statistically unlikely to own a VR headset) also impact the overall growth from a percentage standpoint.
Valve recently said that the total number of active VR users on Steam are up 160% year-over-year. Based on recent usership data from Valve, we made a rough estimate of some 611,100 VR headsets attached to PCs running Steam over the course of June 2018.
Overall the August figures represent a bit of turbulence among VR headsets on Steam, with the Vive losing a somewhat significant 1.77% while the Rift and Windows VR headsets split most of that loss into moderate growth for each. Despite the reduction in share for the Vive, overall the number of headsets on Steam is up slightly.
It’s hard to pinpoint what each movement might mean, though it stands to reason that the Rift got a boost thanks to the launch of the Marvel Powers United VR bundle on July 31st, which saw a marketing push from the company. Continued sales are likely helping their slow but steady gain in marketshare of Windows VR headsets on Steam.
Update (September 3rd, 2018): HTC told Road to VR in mid-July that the Vive was seeing limited stock due to the shortage of a key component. At the time the company said they expected stock to pick back up “in a few weeks;” it seems likely that the shortage could have played a role in the Vive’s figures for the August Steam Survey.
Thanks to Reddit user ‘PrAyTeLLa’ for pointing this out!