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.

Image courtesy Valve

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.

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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!

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  • R FC

    At the retail level I see Oculus Rift/Go, Windows MR and Samsung Gear VR being pushed hard with in store demo, marketing events and stock availability. Daydream and Vive have disappeared from stores. Nothing like getting consumers heads into headsets to create sales. Samsung really pushing Gear VR with Note9, offering cool experiences like this at popular shopping malls..this was earlier today in West London.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/77b3c60683f8c8302d4082528a424aa0389cef685a8eafacd27846e64e1e6060.jpg

    • care package

      Note9/Gear VR can take me into the 4th dimension? Damn im in.

      • IanTH

        Simply by existing, every experience gets an extra “D” thanks to time. Now, if GearVR can allow us 6DoF in time…I think I could be convinced to go for a lower fidelity HMD

        • R FC

          GearVR with 6DOF would be something, the Note9 display was very impressive.

        • care package

          It’s actually debated on whether time is the 4th D or an actual 4th D like what a tesseract represents

    • NooYawker

      HTC has probably been losing money selling the Vive and they don’t have the financing that Samsung, MS and Facebook does. Google just does what it always does with their hardware. Do a half assed job of promoting them.

      • SomeGuyorAnother

        Worst part of the Steam/HTC business plan is that HTC doesn’t make any of the profit from software sales and is forced into a position that everything has to be sold at profit. Oculus has the advantage of having both hardware and software sales, allowing them to sell the hardware at cost or at a loss, knowing that each headset sold will equate to more software sales, with their cut in the end surpassing more than they lost in hardware sales. This is one reason why the “console method” can be fantastic for early generation VR.

        • NooYawker

          Vive does have a store but not many people use it because they use steam. There’s no reason to use Vive’s software.

          • SomeGuyorAnother

            Fair point. Vive does have Viveport, but with the hardware being marketed as a SteamVR headset, there’s little reason for a buyer to even consider it over Steam. I feel like it’s a good sign HTC realized they kinda got screwed.

          • mirak

            HTC could not have made the Vive without Valve help and licenced technologies.
            In fact even Oculus is said to have ripped of some Steam prototypes but got away with it.
            HTC can consider it a success to a be in the discussion.
            They just don’t have the money to do real exclusive to promote their store.

          • mirak

            The only reason to use it would be exclusive like Oculus does.

      • R FC

        Google has been pushing their home assistant hard through retail channels with their Home mini speaker and connected appliances.

        Daydream seemed to evaporate when they pivoted away from VR to focus on smarthome and AI focused services, the integration on Android has been impressive.

  • WMR headsets are so cheap now that people is actually starting to buy them. But I ask if we want a VR ecosystem where company sells at undercost price

    • Jordan_c

      What makes you think that the WMR headsets are sold undercost?

    • They are so cheap I bought a second one. Cost me 160$ About the price of a 1080p monitor. They are not sold undercost at all. The original pricing of 399$ is due to the amount of units made being very small. If these headsets were mass produced like monitors their would be down to 200$

    • NooYawker

      YES! That’s how consoles operate, or at least they used to. Sony and MS lost money on every console they sold and made it up in licensing.

      • SomeGuyorAnother

        And the strange thing is that Windows Store has the smallest VR selection right now, so whatever money they make via store profits is minor. If you felt some of these early $200 headsets (after the quick price reduction via poor initial sales), it’s entirely believable that they’d cost less than that to manufacture.

    • Mythos88

      The Odyssey is one of the biggest WMR sellers and it costs as much as a 3-sensor Rift. Also Microsoft supplies the brains to the headset manufacturers which greatly reduces their R&D costs so I don’t think they are selling under cost and this is even more apparent when you consider Acer just released a new headset and the Samsung is set to release an Odyssey+

      • nipple_pinchy

        I frickin love my Odyssey.

      • David Marquez

        how and where do we follow release dates for Odyssey + hmd…drooling over here…..

        • Mythos88

          No official word from Samsung yet. But since it has passed through the FCC is has to be coming soon

    • jeff courtney

      True,I agree with the exception that still wmr wont work on everything.Praise Jesus !

  • Turret

    I just need an answer to one question and i’ll get the oculus: how big can I get the roomscaling? Can I get an entire room i’m creating (about 4x4M) to get registred by the oculus system?
    If yes, then i’m in. If not, no matter why, I will get the vive.

    • care package

      99% of VR games don’t NEED roomscale. Sure being able to walk around in larger spaces is cool, but really unnecessary. Devs aren’t going to cater only to those with large space, at least most anyway.

      • Turret

        I tried VR both in the classic small area and roomscaling at a friends house.
        Most games don’t utilize that space I know, but for those games that do it feels just amazing.
        And also not having to deal with too close to the edge warning that I got significally more when I tried the sitting/standing system.
        I hoped Oculus would do have had at least the option for that and made it functional.
        But if what Rouge Transfer is saying it’s true, I will not be getting the Rift: I’ll either get the Vive or the Pimax 8K.

        • SomeGuyorAnother

          Ultimately, Roomscale was marketed early on in VR as THE thing…but it turned out everyone preferred depending on artificial locomotion, with roomscale being a supplemental thing. It definitely has its uses, but mostly comes down to just needing one or two steps to help maneuver. Other than that, it’s just kinda…gimmicky, and by that I mean the games that rely on it heavily never feel like much more than tech demos.

          Ultimately, I’d suggest a 3 sensor Rift setup, as it’s shown the most growth on the software side of things and a company that’s demonstrated the most commitment to growing the bottom line. Vive has many peripherals to buy that could potentially improve some things, but those peripherals are rarely supported in apps (primarily in social apps) and cost an arm and a leg. Even with the Knuckles controllers on the horizon, developers are still going to have to focus development around the wands (subpar controllers to Oculus’), limiting the effect the Knuckles are going to have on the Vive ecosystem.

          • Alan Dail

            Walking isn’t the gimmick, walking in the natural way to move around. Teleporting is the artificial way to deal with constrained play areas.

            And need for larger play areas depends one the game. In Thrill of the Fight, you can use whatever space you have available (I assume up to the size of the ring). In Knockout League Boxing, you just stand in one spot. I strongly prefer the freedom to move around that Thrill of the Fight provides.

            In ping pong games, you need to be able to move around like you would in real ping pong. You don’t need as much space as you need in boxing, but you do need to move from time to time.

            Other games would work better if you could move around instead of being automatically teleported, like tennis.

            Hopefully someday games will have integrate support for things like virtual treadmills to provide larger and even unlimited virtual play areas where appropriate.

          • SomeGuyorAnother

            Swing and a miss. You seem to have missed what I was talking about. Being able to move around the entire room was the gimmick of it. Either the space provided in the game is still too large, or the space provided is much smaller in order to develop towards the lowest common denominator. The OP was concerned about his 4m x 4m space he wanted covered, a space that would go vastly underused for most VR experiences, since, as I said, all you’d need is to be able to take a few steps around, something the Oculus is greatly suited for.

            If he wants to focus on a single boxing game, then sure, he could make use of it, but it’d be misleading to have him think that the general experience for VR will be like this one example. Valve’s Lighthouse 2.0 has currently been trying to hype being able to walk between room through hallways and the like, but what is the point in this for the average consumer experience? Most of the experiences, as I said, are going to be tied around artificial locomotion. There are definitely a few good roomscale experiences, but it’s not representative of the market and is just a way to garner interest in the tech, hence a “gimmick”.

          • Alan Dail

            You just said some experiences are better with larger room scale. Why does it have to apply to every game? The ones that do benefit are better with larger play areas. Turret even said he knows most games don’t utilize that space, but he wants it for the ones that do. And I feel the same way.

            And I’m not focusing on a single boxing game, I used it as an example.

          • SomeGuyorAnother

            The point I was making since the first comment was that a very small percentage of games make beneficial use of roomscale (and yes, that makes full roomscale a gimmick as it’s used as a primary marketing feature). It’s typically best to not base a purchase when choosing between products off of a promise of a few games that don’t represent the majority of the top tiered games (Gorn is another one that’d work well and is probably the only top seller that could benefit off of Vive’s max area over Oculus’), and even those that use a massive space can suffer from dependency on roomscale. Swinging your arms around while walking around suffers from a large risk of still smacking your hands into walls (even with Chaperone, it doesn’t alert you fast enough when reacting quickly) or tripping over cables, so a general safety precaution is to best stayed center in most situations. You’re still blind to the real world.

            As for OP, thing to know is that I’m currently using a 4-sensor Oculus setup with a roughly 3.2mx3m space and tracking is flawless. While Oculus doesn’t officially support the 4-sensor configuration in its setup, it’s still a very stable and great experience. The power issues with the USBs aren’t very bad, as you’d just need a powered usb extensions, which comes with any standalone sensor you purchase via Oculus, and works great via just USB 2.0.

          • mirak

            The point is that it will be easier to setup with a Vive, no matter what, and without losing any inch of space against the walls and requiring only two outlets for the lighthouses.

          • mirak

            That’s so not true.
            In pavlov of I had the space I would take cover and fire more by walking instead of locomote.
            Although locomotion is maybe less exhausting, it’s not as efficient in some cases, and make it more feel like playing a 2d game than vr.

          • mirak

            Teleporting would be something you would use in real life if it was possible.

            Even with an unlimited space, teleporting would be convenient.
            It would not substitute to walking, but be complementary.

            But with limited space it increases immersion because obviously you would not want to be stuck in a 2mx2m area, unless you want to immerse in a prison cell.

          • R FC

            Last winter i ran an experiment called “roomscale plus” to really push SteamVR tracking to its limits, in an ideal condition of a large, empty space with no lighting and controllable air conditioning to simulate different temperatures for game environment.

            We managed to operate with 9 metre diagonal gap across lighthouses using custom towers to get them orientated just right. But many application could not exploit the space, and it required someone to manage the tether for the user to stop entanglement and maximise the movement potential.

            Certain apps were breathtaking at that scale, especially The Lab and Abbot’s book demo, and Space Pirate Trainer with no chaperone intrusion was incredible.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8051f58456fe0c7c763b3627587f7f83ebcfcd56e3c0e554d48fefaa3e779b08.jpg

          • mirak

            Honyeah, Oculus had demonstrated it wanted to track other objects or limbs, and oculus are surely demonstrated interest in inreasing the resolution, and of course demonstrated interest in wireless modules.
            Or not.

          • Turret

            Oh man. I seem to have created quite a bit of a storm in here. I’m sorry. Let me clear it up.
            Alan Dail is correct: I know perfectly well most games don’t use that much space, but those that take advantage of it are absolutley breathtaking to say the least.
            Basically, what I want out of my VR setup is:
            – A good resolution HMD (that’s why i’m considering waiting for the Pimax 8K and get that with a 2080ti)
            – A Large enough VR space for ALL experiences (either 3x3M or 4×4)
            – Wireless capabilities
            The big problem right now it’s the following: my family and I are in the middle of a makeover of the family home.
            Basically, since my brother is gone, I’ll have the upper floor of the house as my own.
            So mounting something like the vive right now would only lead to be dismantled again and there’s no easy way to use it without wall mounting (and I heard using metal supports just ends up vibrating them and the play area).
            So it’s all a matter of: do I stay patient and wait for the renovation to be done and get the vive/pimax 8K, or do I get the oculus that it’s easier to dismount and I can use it immediatly?
            That’s about it. I’m sorry again.

            NOTE: I seem alot frustrated because the only HMD I ever owned until now was the Oculus DK2… and so I kinda have a “build up” that it’s hard to resist waiting to buy.

          • care package

            I don’t think it was about preference. It was about space available. Most people just aren’t interested in clearing a room or moving furniture every time they want to play in VR. Roomscale is not practical and it probably won’t ever be.

    • Rogue Transfer

      Not really. To achieve 4M x 4M without losing space round the edge or having poor tracking in the centre above, you would also need at least four Oculus cameras and that is not officially recommended and can be difficult to setup with USB bandwidth issues.

      • Turret

        Welp, then either the vive or pimax 8K it is. Thank you for the info.

        • MeowMix

          I run a 3 sensor Rift room scale at 10×10 feet (slightly larger than 3x3m). No tracking issues. 4x4m might be stretching it for the Rift sensors.

          But as pointed out, every game has artificial locomotion to move around using the thumbstick. 99% of the games out there don’t even use Room scale, but rather just require 360 degree tracking.

          Be sure to demo both the Rift, Vive and even WMR if you can before purchasing.

          • Turret

            I had the opportunity to demo: the vive at a friends house (with also a test with standing mode just to have the idea), Oculus and WMR at gamescom.
            WMR is the last option i’ll consider simply because of the only on front tracking of hands.
            Oculus was an interesting consideration, but I just felt restricted strangley, even when playing space junkies of all things. Note that I only did standing mode with that, so if what you are saying is true, I might actually get it. Will have to do some modifications to the VR room tho.
            Anyway, as of now, the experience I had with the vive and H3VR from testing was just so good: it felt free to move around in that kind of area, even more immersed than the oculus with higher resolution HMD.
            So, I’ll have to find someone that has the same kind of setup as you do and test it out: if I don’t notice really any jittery or strange stuff, I could settle with 3x3M and get the oculus.
            But if it’s a bit too problematic, i’ll end up getting the aformentioned vive or Pimax 8K.
            Thank you for the info.

          • MeowMix

            Yup. Oculus Rift does officially support room-scale, they even have an official guide for it: https://www.oculus.com/blog/roomscale-revisited-getting-the-most-out-of-your-rift/
            I get Floor-to-Ceiling coverage using the 8 ft mounted camera guide suggested in the link.

            However, the false idea that Rift does not do room-scale came about since Rift did not get official Room-scale ability until Jan 2017. Thus, ppl who state otherwise are working with old info.

          • Turret

            I did a first quick read of the 4 parts in the tips, and now I have another question.
            Let’s say I use the setup with 3 sensors on celling level: how big is the problem regarding the USB bandwith?

          • PJ

            Usb bandwidth is an issue, there’s a oculus compatibility checker on oculus’s website, run that and check usb’s (ignoring any other warning), like I said in another reply, check reddit for a confirmed list for usb extenders and repeaters

          • Turret

            Runned the compability check. Didn’t say anything wrong in particular, so that’s good.
            I’ll do some more research regarding the rift. I am now interested. Thank you for the clarification

          • MeowMix

            Depends. Oculus recommends for a 3 sensor setup [2x USB 3.0 or above, 1x USB 2.0]. Usually a mixture of that can be done on 1 USB controller (what most PCs have). If you use a lot of USB devices and need another USB controller, you’ll have to buy a $23 PCIe to USB expansion card. The expansion card will add another USB controller. This is the card recommended by Oculus.

            https://www.amazon.com/Inateck-Superspeed-Ports-PCI-Expansion/dp/B00B6ZCNGM

            What do I use? I use the Inateck USB expansion card because I initially did 3x USB 3.0 sensors. But then I realized the tracking was the same between 3x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 3.0 and 1 being USB 2.0. I still have 1 sensor on the expansion card.

          • Turret

            Ok, thanks.

          • Get Schwifty!

            I have both, the Vive has a more limited sweet spot for viewing, marginally better tracking when everything is working on Oculus, and does support a larger area. The Vive controllers are just poor compared to Touch, and the ergonomics even with the add-on strap for the Vive feel worse than Oculus. If you are comparing the higher res HMD, then its no longer an apples to apples consideration…. overall the Oculus has the edge on immersion, the Vive on just sheer space which most folks never use….

          • mirak

            Except the guy you specifically answer to …

          • arczi79

            “Oculus was an interesting consideration, but I just felt restricted strangley”

            What do you mean by that? How Oculus with more soft wire would restrict you from moving around?

        • PJ

          Ignore Rogue Transfers reply, it’s nonsense

      • Ombra Alberto

        I’m not sure you have an Oculus.

    • Ombra Alberto

      I have a space of 3mX3m.
      Three sensors.

      Although I can do Room Scale I often find myself moving as little as possible.

      The same will happen to you too. You will stay still in one spot.

    • PJ

      Yup you can go 4x4m you will need three sensors (some users have a 4th for peace of mind for a large play space) but just to echo what ‘Ombra Alberto’ said, you won’t use it all, having a large space is nice as you know you have plenty of room to move in and you won’t see you guardian boundary pop up much at all, if ever, but you’ll find that you don’t move too far from one spot.
      Have a look at Onward’s esport’s setup, the players play on small play area with 4 sensors.
      If you do go for a 4x4m ply space, head on over to Oculus Reddit, there information on which USB extenders you will need, you may also need repeaters

      • Turret

        Ok, thank you.

    • NooYawker

      Get three sensors and some really long usb cables. But make sure those cables are the recommended ones. And boom! Room scale.

      • Turret

        Ok thx.

    • Lucidfeuer

      You need well placed two turrets and you can get a decent room tracking (I never measure but basically 3x3m). If you have a significantly larger room and a use for it (don’t see what’s the point but…) go for a Vive.

      • gothicvillas

        My room is 5x3m. I have it dedicated for VR. PC sits in the middle along longest wall so I get the whole space for room scale. The larger space the bigger immersion imo ( less teleporting etc)

        • Lucidfeuer

          Well unless you have a warehouse, you can’t really do a whole level or scene while walking. So then you mostly don’t need that much space for most games, I’ve never found the need for it.

          But clearly there’s a minimum free space that is confortable, tight spaces or small room aren’t very pleasant.

          • gothicvillas

            I can agree but fighting scenes lets say in Skyrim without using locomotion is pretty nice. Same goes for Raw Data, having larhe space to manouvre adds a bit extra. Having said that, Yes large space in not really required.

    • arczi79

      Definitely you can use Oculus Rift CV1 with 3 camera in a room of size 4x4m. It will track your movements P_E_R_F_E_C_T_L_Y!

  • nipple_pinchy

    I think I’ll be getting a Oculus Santa Cruz and StarVR One in 2019.

    • Mythos88

      And a Porche Cayanne Hybird

      • nipple_pinchy

        I think you managed to misspell every word there.

        • Mythos88

          I started well…then things went south

          • gothicvillas

            Lol

    • Alan Dail

      I’m really looking forward to Santa Cruz – I want something easy to travel with that has full 6DOF. And powerful enough for things like Beat Saber.

      • nipple_pinchy

        If I can use Santa Cruz just for games like Beat Saber, BoxVR and Thrill of the Fight, it’ll be worth the purchase for me.

        • Alan Dail

          Me too. Those are the 3 games I’ve been playing the most lately. I’m also looking forward to Creed: Rise to Glory – I preordered that already from Steam. They have a pre-release sale.

          • nipple_pinchy

            >Creed: Rise to Glory

            That’s my most anticipated VR title. I just hope it’s not too arcade-y and has as much replay value as Thrill of the Fight.

          • arczi79

            Not with this graphics on Santa Cruz. I would rather expect something more similar (in graphics) to Gorn VR.

          • nipple_pinchy

            They’ll have to scale it down, which I wouldn’t have a problem with. I just want workout games I can use with Santa Cruz. Perfect graphics aren’t that important. My fave VR title is Thrill of the Fight and it doesn’t look great at all. lol

          • arczi79

            Where from you know that these games will be ported to Santa Cruz? It can be really hard due to hardware limitation of Santa Cruz…. :/

      • arczi79

        But Santa Cruz will be the same system as on Oculus GO. I don’t think that you can play Beat Saber on this device (at least till the time developers will port this game to Santa Cruz).

        • Alan Dail

          Santa Cruz is the Go with full 6DOF, two controllers, more powerful processor, and I assume more memory.

          Yes, the game will need ported, they can’t port to Go because of 3DOF limitation. But they can port to Santa Cruz. Oculus is working with developers to get games ported.

          I’ll be shocked of Beat Saber isn’t ported. The most popular 6DOF game on what should be the best selling 6DOF system. There’s just way too much money to be made for them to not port it.

          • arczi79

            But don’t expect from Santa Cruz anything similar to what you are getting now on PC VR. As you said – it will be device similar to Oculus Go/Gear VR but with 6DOF… and that’s all about it. For trips it can be nice device to watch Netflix (why we don’t have it on CV1??) or play simple games. But I would not expect powerfull graphics on this device.

          • Alan Dail

            I’m not expecting it to be as good as PC VR, I just want Beat Saber and a few other games I can use for exercise on a portable VR unit I can easily travel with.

            Beat Saber is VR’s first killer app. Everyone I’ve shown it to loves it. They don’t like the entry cost of VR, though. Santa Cruz can solve that. Santa Cruz for $399 or $499 bundled with Beat Saber will sell as fast as they can make them.

            Even with that, I’m planning to still use my Vive as my primary VR machine and am considering upgrading computers and adding the wireless card. It’s so distracting to get tangled in the cord or pull it out from the wall.

            The cost needs to come down for widespread adoption. I picked up a Go the other day just to see what it’ll do and get an idea of what Santa Cruz will be able to do, I was shocked at how many people are in the multi player apps vs what I see on SteamVR.

    • fuyou2

      StarVR is $8600

      • Zerofool

        Source?

  • jeff courtney

    Thankful to have all three and four.Oculus,vive,wmr and psvr.Praise Jesus !

  • Jistuce

    Okay, seriously. Who’s keeping DK1 in the chart? Someone buy him a Rift or Vive.

  • oompah

    I am awaiting waveguide glasses based VR headsets like magic leap now.
    Rest boxy ones now look boxes strapped to ur face

  • sebrk

    Considering HTC management doing everything in their power to fail (as they did with their mobile division) this is not surprising at all.