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.
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.
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.