Adding to a growing number of data points showing why Facebook has shifted its attention away from Oculus PC is the difference in momentum between the two platforms as revealed by game review counts over time. This month, the number of reviews across all Quest games has exceeded the number of reviews across all Oculus PC games.

The number of times a game has been reviewed generally correlates with how many units that game has sold. Thus, looking at the count of all reviews in a given game marketplace over time can give us some indication of the trend of unit sales in that marketplace.

Worth noting: when it comes to Quest, users are required to install the Oculus smartphone app, which has a variety of mechanisms to pull users back into the app—like scoreboard and challenge prompts—where they can also write a review for games in their library. On the other hand, the Oculus PC app doesn’t have much of that functionality, nor is it always in your pocket.

So, all things equal, we’d expect from the outset that a larger proportion of Quest users would write reviews compared to Oculus PC users. Exactly how many more, however, is hard to figure. So while it’s interesting to see that this month the total number of Quest game reviews surpassed the total number of Oculus PC game reviews, as we can see below, it isn’t the count that’s particularly interesting, but the trend.

The Rift and the Oculus PC store launched in March 2016, nearly five years ago. The first Quest and its store launched in May of 2019. It took a little less than two years (from May 2019 to January 2021) for Quest game reviews to surpass the number of Oculus PC game reviews.

Another way to look at this is to look at the average number of reviews per day. Here we can see that not only the count, but more importantly the trend is moving healthily upward on Quest, whereas the Oculus PC store has largely flatlined in comparison.

Another interesting point to note is that the number of Quest game reviews is spread across a much smaller number of games. The Quest store has just 253 games, while the Oculus PC store has some 1,800. This is no doubt due to Facebook’s decision to “curate” the Quest store.

Despite the large quantity of games on the Oculus PC store, only 339 (19%) have reached the seemingly low bar of 100 or more reviews. The median number of reviews for each game on the store is 240.

Quest games are much more consistently surpassing 100 reviews, with 201 (79%) crossing the threshold. The median number of reviews for each game on the Quest store is 621.

Value—as revealed through user reviews—is another interesting point of comparison between the two stores. Below we can see that the rating distribution leans significantly higher on the Quest store vs. Oculus PC.

And a final note worth pointing out: while this data suggests that the Oculus PC store is stagnating, we can’t necessarily extend this conclusion to the overall PC VR category, where Steam is one of PC VR’s largest marketplaces (and is not represented in this data). On that front, Valve shared some positive figures about VR usage on Steam in 2020, and other data suggests the platforms continues to grow.

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  • Rogue Transfer

    So, since the Oculus PC store is stagnating, the likelihood it’ll last is low. Considering how fast Facebook and the former Oculus company have been to closed stores(GearVR, Go) & services(Oculus Video on PC) that don’t meet their user engagement expectations.

    Especially, considering how low the PC-link users are, when you look at Steam Hardware Survey, we find that only around 6~9% of active PC users are Quest 2 users. So, the vast majority of Quest 2 users don’t use PC software at all, leaving the Oculus PC store with an uncertain future even for them.

    Once there are more native standalone titles, I predict that we’ll see a phasing out of the Oculus PC support with either the next Quest device(just announced in the making) or the one after it. I give the Oculus PC store 2~4 years, which will be sufficient time for the Quest store to have enough reasonable quality titles to satisfy most casual users. Then Facebook will close it to new titles and eventually discontinue access to download new PC titles via the Oculus store. Just like they’ve done/doing with GearVR & Go.

    How SideQuest and the new official alternative to it factors into this will be revealed in time. That’s going to be interesting to see.

    • Ad

      The new official alternative isn’t a real alternative. I think people are going to be very disappointed but even when they announce it’s just TestFlight without deadlines, people will still think it’s an alternative store because quest discourse is toxic.

      As for ending PC support, even I think they would drag their feet on that or people would revolt.

    • Blaexe

      They won’t drop PCVR support, it just won’t be a focus.

      I expect future Oculus headsets to be marketed as “general computing devices” – which ALSO offer the possibility of gaming. Just like smartphones today.

      A great working PC connection will still be needed for the industry or a virtual office. Of course that will be done wirelesly.

      That’s why Oculus Link is a thing, and you can expect to see Wireless Link this year or next year at the latest. VR in general will shift away from being gaming focused.

      • Ad

        That’s a risk. Once you use a VR headset for work seriously, regulation and anti trust, ergonomic and labor concerns, a lot of more serious standards show up. The Quest is an all purpose device handled as a games console, which could be its undoing.

        • Blaexe

          The concerns are real, but there will be ways to handle it.

          VR being used as a general computing device is inevitable. Why do you think they called Half Dome 3 a “prototype for work”?

          Social VR, Work VR, VR Gaming – the technical requirements are largely the same.

          • Ad

            Not really. Social VR benefits from face tracking and such. Work from ergonomics, hand tracking, and so on, Gaming from fidelity, the best displays, and good controllers.

            As for there being ways the handle it, there’s little reason to think so. Facebook’s monopoly and tight control, erasing distance can make work VR a way to subvert labor and cause physical ailments, social VR is definitely going to get dark when facebook itself can’t keep their platform from constant scandal and harm. As for half done, that’s a marketing ploy more than anything.

          • Blaexe

            A great VR headset for work is also a great gaming headset. Same goes for social VR. Every single multiplayer game (read: the often cited “Ready Player One”) benefits from face tracking – and even some strictly single player games, e.g. if there’s a mirror. All these headsets have the same goals, just with slightly different priorities on the way.

            Work and social VR also needs high fidelity, high FoV, great haptics and so on. The goal is the same.

            Society and regulators will find ways – as they’ve always done so far.

            Half Dome is not marketing, it’s research. And I suspect lots of people would take facebooks “prototype for work” over any other gaming headset released.

          • Ad

            Society and regulators have failed repeatedly. And I completely disagree. When you have an inherent cost target and use targets like hand tracking, they’re just not the same. Your argument makes no sense, the point of the work headset is not to be the same as reality. Colors don’t need to pop, they won’t make a smellovision solution, they don’t want controllers. The goals are completely different.

          • Blaexe

            In order to achieve presence, you need perfect VR in every regard. Presence is the goal – for gaming, remote work and social VR. Including every human sense.

            Of course Facebook focuses (as every big company in the VR space) on the “easier” senses first.

            Social VR alone needs perfect tracking of all body parts, perfect visuals, FoV, haptics and – eventually – smell.

          • Ad

            That’s an out of touch approach. VR needs to be useful, not impressive.

          • Blaexe

            Uhm… That goes hand in hand. VRs goal is presence. By achieving presence, it will be both extremely impressive and useful. Right now it’s… not very useful in most cases.

          • Ad

            This is dead end thinking.

          • Blaexe

            The future will prove you wrong. Social VR will be a huge part of VR and it needs to be very advanced technology wise to actually work. And it will be necessary for lots of use cases.

  • Ad

    Not only can you not extrapolate from the oculus store, it’s just a terrible misleading metric in the first place. On PCVR people get their games from steam. That’s just how it works.

    Quest conversations are so contradictory. How could they be 18% of the headsets on steam and simultaneously PCVR is stagnating? Everyone knows the Rift Store is a corpse not long for this world and any game without crossbuy only makes sense to get on steam.

    • benz145

      And a final note worth pointing out: while this data suggests that the Oculus PC store is stagnating, we can’t necessarily extend this conclusion to the overall PC VR category, where Steam is one of PC VR’s largest marketplaces (and is not represented in this data). On that front, Valve shared some positive figures about VR usage on Steam in 2020, and other data suggests the platforms continues to grow.

      • Ad

        I know but it’s not so much as final note as much as the whole context for the middle of the article.

      • Hacker4748

        I have to agree – the “final note” makes the whole point of the article moot.

  • This is also the result of Facebook abandoning PC: all the newest best games are all on Quest

    • James Cobalt

      But can you blame them? PC VR is well served by Steam and Viveport, and mainstreamers don’t want the complication or expense of it. I’m on my 9th VR headset in this life and even I don’t recommend newcomers get into PC VR.

    • Pablo C

      SW Squadrons and Alyx (2020) differ though.

    • JT

      Such as?

  • Jonathan Winters III

    PCVR is not stagnating. At all. It’s growing, a lot.

    • dk

      plus pcvr devs noticed a nice bump after the quest 2 came out ….because it’s not just a mobile headset platform ….and after the updates link is pretty good …and vd of course

    • And Quest only does VR games and has a less cluttered store for now (like Switch did early on compared to other platforms so indies just raved about the visibility and success on it, but it’s naturally increasingly less common as time goes on and even more games release as they do on successful platforms). PC VR games are on a platform that also plays the best flat games out there at their best quality, so that means more competition and games that need to stand out more. Beat Saber and Alyx and such on Steam have way more user reviews than the bigger Quest games so if you stand out you can make a good buck. Even less popular games like Pistol Whip sell a good chunk on PC, like 1/3rd of what they sell on Quest, so it’s not like it’s bad to have a version for PC regardless. Weird to see an article just about an obviously failed PC storefront, even Oculus funded games like Medal of Honor (god what a disappointment, Respawn phoned that in, it should have been amazing) pushed to release on Steam as well for a reason.

  • JT

    We get it you want to kill PCVR. Who is the loser who spent the time researching this anyway?