Speaking at an industry event last week, Valve offered an update on Steam, the company’s massive digital marketplace for PC games, including the continued growth the company has seen in the VR segment over the last year.

Speaking at the White Nights St. Petersburg 2018 conference last week, Valve’s Jan-Peter Ewert offered up fresh data insights into Steam, including some staggering numbers like the platform’s 43 million daily active users (up from 25 million the same time in 2016), and a staggering average of 180 games being released each week thanks to the company’s new ‘Direct’ approach which makes it easier for developers to get their projects onto Steam.

Among the fresh insights—which were captured by Twitter user Michael Kuzmin, as spotted by Reddit user ‘IE_5’—Jan-Peter noted that VR is an “ongoing investment,” and that the VR content landscape on Steam is a “thriving marketplace.” It was also shown that monthly active VR users on Steam are up 160% year-over-year.

Image courtesy Michael Kuzmin

Valve isn’t giving a hard figure on how many active VR headsets are on their platform, but we can work out a reasonable estimate. The challenge is finding a way to square the total number of daily active users on Steam (43 million, per these new figures), with the latest data in Steam’s Hardware & Software Survey (which is presented in terms of monthly active users). Well, we can determine the ratio of daily active users to monthly active users by comparing to a recent time that both figures were officially provided, then use that ratio to estimate the most recent monthly active users figure from the known daily active users figure, which comes out to an estimated 87.3 million monthly active users.

Given that—and knowing from the Steam Hardware & Software survey that 0.7% of monthly Steam users have a VR headset connected—we can reasonably estimate some 611,100 VR headsets were attached to PCs running Steam over the course of June 2018.

New Steam Guidelines to Allow All Controversial & Adult Content (as long as it's legal)

Of course, Steam isn’t the only VR platform out there—Oculus, PlayStation, and the Microsoft Store (not to mention mobile platforms) add still more to the total count of active VR users, but unfortunately we don’t have good figures to work with to determine monthly active VR users for those platforms.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

  • Eddie Barsh

    Love it ! Its growing !!

    • Adrian Meredith

      How can it be?? everyone keeps saying VR is dying so it must be true!


      • sfmike

        The haters will keep trying as they always do.

  • gothicvillas

    Its getting there. Nice.

  • plrr

    One could make some predictions based on this data. Of course, adoption rate will hopefully be higher for the next generation of VR… And this is only PC VR. But, OK, let’s say we are currently at 600 000 users, and see an increase of +160% per year. Then we pass 10 million users in 3 years, and 100 million users in 5 years. At this rate, we reach the current human population in a decade.

    • gothicvillas

      Time to buy shares in VR industry

      • G-man

        just not htc

    • TwinFire

      you need to look up what a bell curve is

      • Lucidfeuer

        Exactly, but also we have to look at the growth curve contextually: are we on the ascending growth curve or somewhat reaching a top…I personally believe we’re just before that, and for the rest it all depend on what the standalone wireless tetherable headsets are (as well as the next headtracked mobile ones).

      • plrr

        I’m very familiar with what it is. Try to avoid a sarcastic tone, it’s just nicer that way. The prediction was really simplistic, but I think it’s still informative.

  • nipple_pinchy

    It’s happening. Once those first premium wireless standalone headsets drop, the market is going to skyrocket.

    • Vegeta785

      Then soon you won’t even see a vrless person. lol

      • nipple_pinchy

        Once I get mine, I’m going to be in my VR space, always wearing my headset while doing the robot.

    • Gus Bisbal

      This statement is bullshit. Compelete and total bullshit. You do not buy something because its wireless. You buy it because it does something you want and wireless makes it more convenient. You doubt me? What do you think is the most expensive thing about VR? The realestate. Current VR can give you 30 feet x 30 Feet.Do you have 30×30 you can use for VR with nothing in it? So if you don’t, where are you going to go with your wireless VR headset? What can you do with wireless you could not do before. This “I want wireless or else I don’t buy” is by people who make out that its something other than the price that stops them from buying. You have limited space. You are probably not even about to much more than standing VR. Your not going any where you won’t even notice the cord after playing with it for 2 hours. Everyone that owns one knows this.

      • Sandy Wich

        *raises hand* I own one and I notice it all the time, and it’s a continuous break of immersion and a serious drawback to my enjoyment of VR.

        Like obviously there is more that VR needs in order to become the next Cellphone. Price reduction, Bulk/Weight reduction, increased resolution, field of view and more games/experiences… But the person did say, “Premium”, which kind of suggests improvements to the design already. And as for price, it will obviously become cheaper over time.

        I personally believe that interest will begin to boom once the first universally considered, “quality”, VR device drops, if not for it’s quality, but for the drop in price of previous models.

        But anyway, why so triggered? Right or wrong it’s not like that person was trying to start a fight, it was just hopes and personal belief.

        • nipple_pinchy

          Most enthusiasts cannot understand how casuals see this tech. As long as VR remains tethered to an expensive external device and costs more than $500 for the total buy-in cost, the consumer base will be limited to a few million MAX.

          As soon as you can go to Walmart and buy a premium(4K, 150+degree fov, eye tracking, light, sexy form factor, great motion controls) VR/AR standalone headset for the cost of a video game console, at that point it almost becomes an impulse buy and the industry will be changed forever.

          I’m a VR nut, but even I realize the current limitations are holding it back. Outside-in tracking(base stations) is a dead-end. Inside-out tracking like on the WMR headsets are the future. Consumers have to be able to buy a HMD, take it out of the box, pop it on, configure their playspace ONCE and go.

          People like Gus are delusional and don’t understand the market AT ALL.

      • nipple_pinchy

        You’re a delusional enthusiast and don’t know what you’re talking about. Sit down.

        • Gus Bisbal

          Sweety, how old are you? How many years in the tech game do you have? No shit, type that number down. Every person who has ever used a keyboard will tell you they know how its going to turn out. Even if they are 21, they will know where its going, even if only 5 years ago they hadn’t finished puberty. User need to be able to …. blah blah blah…. there are technical limitations why that hasn’t been done already. They don’t just happen. There is a process that makes all of that turn and it ain’t wireless. Remember when a dual core, dual CPU server was sold for $25k and now they are $3-5k? Oh wait… no you don’t. Once you have seen a few of these cycles you will realise what makes them happen. So before you tell people to sit down, have a think about what you actually know and have experienced vs what you dream up in your spare time.

          • Sandy Wich

            In that paragraph you insulted someones age while behaving like a child, talked about nostalgia, puberty and remembering historical pc technology then finished it off telling someone to sit down, when they never sat up to attack you in the first place.

            It was you. Are you a genuinely retarded? It’s not often I see a troll with the balls to put their face in their picture, so I’m leaning towards yes.

          • Gus Bisbal

            Whoops, Sorry, you know that I wasn’t saying that to you right. Oh and I never told someone to sit down. That is what she said to me. Also she wrote “your a delusional enthusiast…” That is sitting up to start a fight. When did I insult someone’s age? Oh and market trend knowledge is not nostalgia. Look up nostalgia, it’s not what you think it is. Oh and you forgot patronising. I was patronising. You never mentioned that. Man that post made you mad. It wasn’t even directed at you. Geesh … Do you always get this annoyed over what other people say to each other? Oh one more, what kind of coward gives their opinion without identifying themselves. Of course that is me, who else would I want to be. Isn’t that your name? Maybe that doesn’t make sense since I am retarded… Remember?

          • Kokkel

            Gus, you’re a cunt.

          • Gus Bisbal

            Well we all have to be good at something my friend. ;-)

        • Sandy Wich

          Don’t reply to this guy, he’s not right in the head, it’s a waste of time. It’s not about saying something logical or intelligent or sharing ideas, it’s about starting a fight for god knows what reason.

          Toxic people aren’t productive to be around. Smile, wave, escape.

          • nipple_pinchy

            That may be true. I’ve never dealt with the guy before. Won’t be doing so again anyways. lol

      • YesMan

        Well I guess this argument is invalid thanks to affordable wireless headsets like the oculus quest and quest 2

  • Lucidfeuer

    I really don’t know how you managed to twist those numbers: there’re 0.7% registered active users for the month of June which out of 67 monthly active users means 470.000 people used an headset on Steam, and THIS is the y-o-y 160% growth.

    There is absolutely no indication that the total number grew to 87.3 millions users nor that these are newly sold headsets. In fact, even I find these numbers to be lower than I would have imagine by now, at least 800k or 1m monthly active VR users (but that’s the problem with practicality, ergonomic, offer and most importantly usage…).

    But sure, if you believe kool-aid PR ever magically turned a market up…

    • Caven

      67 million monthly active users is a figure reported last year. Unless you believe the large increase in daily users is because those 67 million players simply log in a lot more, then it stands to reason that more daily users also means more monthly users. They took the most recent daily:monthly ratio and applied it to the most recent daily data to estimate current monthly users. Sure, that’s not perfectly accurate, but it’s probably a lot more accurate than assuming tens of millions of users have collectively decided to dramatically increase the amount of time spent logged into Steam.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Indeed, so by this estimation there’s indeed 610K VR users…that’s ridiculously low for a “consumer” market that has now been around for 2 years.

        • Gato Satanista

          “Indeed, so by this estimation there’s indeed 610K VR users”
          Wrong. This is Steam numbers. Not counting Oculus numbers, Gear VR numbers or PSVR numbers. So no, you can`t estimate 610k VR users. But maybe you can estimate 610k SteamVR users. For a technology that is still in development, in a semi-experimental state, I am very impressed by the numbers. VR right now has a lot of “tech/consumer problems” but is still selling. If you can imagine this tech problems solved in the next couple years, the mass adoption of VR is not a crazy guess.

  • HybridEnergy

    but muh fad . it’s just muh gimmick – jealous pancake gamer

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    This is great news, 2017 didn’t bring any major hardware announcements and yet we have major growth.

  • Tom Sreek

    Nice option would be.. lets say airlines offer vr instead of small 2d screens on the back of the seat. More people need to try it