According to the just-released October figures from Steam’s Hardware & Software Survey, the Oculus Rift has picked up an additional 0.71%, totalling 47.61% of the market share of VR headsets on Steam. With the price of the Rift dropping permanently to $400 last month, the headset has set its new record high for the fourth month in a row. The HTC Vive maintains a razor thin lead with 48.76% share of headsets in use on Steam.

Steam is the de facto content platform for the HTC Vive though it technically supports the Rift too; plenty of Rifters use both the official Oculus Home platform and Steam to play content which may not be available on the opposing platform.

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 latest results show a small gain of 0.71% in the Rift’s share of VR headsets on Steam, bringing the device’s overall share to a new record high, reaching 47.61% of all headsets in use on the platform.

Image courtesy Valve

The gain was made up by a 1.44% reduction in Vive share, and, interestingly, the Rift DK2 development kit actually took some of that share and gained 0.28%. The latter, launched in 2014, still holds 3.28% total share of VR headsets in use on Steam. Combined, the consumer Rift and the Rift DK2 hold 50.89% of the Steam VR headset market share.

Though Steam is its primary content platform, the Vive only barely holds onto its lead against the Rift with 48.76% of all VR headsets on the platform, though now just 1.15% behind, the Rift could be on a trajectory for an upset.

Exactly how many Rift users use Steam among the total population of Rift users is unknown, making it largely futile to extrapolate the data in an effort to determine headset market share across all platforms. Many analyst estimates put the Vive ahead of the Rift in total sales, though in the consumer space, Oculus’ aggressive price cutting may have allowed the headset to gain significant ground. Oculus also recently introduced an ‘Oculus for Business’ package, attempting to capture some of the commercial market where Vive appears to have a strong.

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The Rift’s latest 0.71% gain comes at the start of a newly lowered MSRP of $400, which Oculus announced on October 11th.

The latest figures could mean several things beyond just more headsets in users hands: A portion of the gains may have been made up not only by new headsets entering the market, but by more Rift users becoming aware of Steam’s compatibility with the Rift; another contributor could be the expansion of HTC’s Viveport app store and the Viveport subscription service, potentially drawing some Vive users away from Steam; still yet, some of the gains could have come from existing Vive owners using their headsets less, and/or existing Rift users using their headsets more (potentially driven by anticipated game launches or lack thereof).

While the Rift enjoyed significant buzz and gains in Steam market share surrounding a lengthy Summer sale, in August HTC brought a major price cut to Vive, setting its new baseline price at $600 (previously $800), which likely helped level out Oculus’ momentum. HTC said the price cut was not a reaction to the Rift sale.

The latest figures also report a 0.06% reduction in overall VR headset use, though given that we know that Oculus and HTC are still selling headsets, the most likely explanation there is that the rate of new non-VR users joining Steam is outpacing the rate of new VR users joining the service.

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While the Rift and Vive fight it out on Steam, new competitors are soon to complicate the binary battle. The Windows VR headsets launched last month starting at $400; although the headsets are now available, their SteamVR compatibility won’t launch until December, which means we won’t likely see them register on the Steam Hardware & Software Survey until after the New Year.

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  • NooYawker

    Christmas is coming. I think the lower priced rift will take the lead. I don’t think the general public even know about the MS headset yet. But one good ad campaign could give them the lead. But at the end of the day as long as there’s more VR users the better.

    • RFC_VR

      Been into the London flagship store of the largest electrical retailer in the UK – not a single Windows HMD to be seen anywhere, or available to demo. They still have a Vive Pre right in the back for free demos during the week, and Google have their Pixel2 and new Daydream View to demo at the front of the store.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        that’s because the current MR headsets will only be available in the US..

        • RFC_VR

          they have them for sale on-line:

          “LENOVO Explorer Mixed Reality Headset & Controllers £399.99”

          but no units in store, nothing on display, no demos – seems a strange way for MS to gain any market share?

          Especially with Christmas shopping coming already, they’d benefit from a big marketing push.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            You’re lucky than to be able to order them, here in the Netherlands it’s only available as preorder. But maybe you’ll be able to test the Samsung Odyssey soon as Samsung has it’s own display in many large electronics stores (wel at least in our country), it’s planned to be shipped on nov 10th..

          • RFC_VR

            we’re not getting the Samsung in the UK nor most of Europe unfortunately. They are not making it easy for enthusiasts?

            Could not even purchase “new” Daydream View in London today, after having a quick demo to check the new optics / Fov, walked out the store ordered online for delivery tomorrow.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            oh crap, I forgot about that, you’re completely right.. ahwell, hopefully we get a better version, with a flipup visor instead of the US version which doesn’t.. ;)

    • Get Schwifty!

      Exactly.

  • Luke

    My Oculus, my pc with a gtx1070 and my wallet are ready for Fallout 4, Doom VFR, and L.A. Noire (feverish anticipation). I just hope that the developers are open-minded and have developed the right control scheme to play with Oculus Touch controllers other than Vive.

    • M1ghtyBanana

      > open-minded
      > Oculus Touch controllers other than Vive
      You misinterpreting the term “open-minded”. BOTH headsed deserve descent control scheme. Your statement is just hypocritical

      • Kevin Brook

        I think you’re misunderstanding what he’s saying. The games he mentioned are being officially released for Vive so it’s a given that will support Vive wands. He’s just hoping that the developers have added native touch support as well. I agree with him one hundred percent.

      • Luke

        you 100% misunderstood me,
        Kevin Brook explainded my thought very well.

        • J.C.

          The misunderstanding isn’t his fault, though. It’s yours.
          If English isn’t your first language, then I applaud your fairly understandable assembly of sentences. I can’t write a functional sentence in any language other than English. If it IS your first language, you have NO right to be annoyed with someone reading your post exactly as it’s written and having his reaction. The internet is packed with people who are all too quick to hammer out incorrect sentences and then act like it’s someone else’s fault when it’s misunderstood. Take some pride in your work, proofread before posting.

          To be fair, M1ghtyBanana’s response isn’t free of errors…“descent control scheme”; basic punctuation omissions.

          • Luke

            @HoSpanky:disqus

            yes, english isn’t my first language, and I confirm that I’m not so good to speech english. I learned here on the internet reading videogames articles/forums and I remember some english lessons at school (but it’s been so long). At a certain point after years of reading articles I realised that I was good to write (a little bit) so I started writing few years ago but I still have huge difficulties! I often use this webiste to find the right words: http://context.reverso.net/traduzione/

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    It’s going to change soon anyway, vive and rift are already old.
    if pimax delivers the new hmds with decent quality both of them would be in trouble.
    the MS hmds have some improvements but are not so good for most game concepts due to tracking like it’s for controllers.
    and don’t forget the steamvr hmd dev by LG
    More will come, this data doesn’t matter, what matters is having enough choices to select from as every gamer likes to play with different style

    • NooYawker

      Yep, vive and rift are gen 1 devices that were really meant for early adopters. There’s many companies working on new better stuff and soon we’ll wonder how we played on these crappy, low res heavy things strapped to our head.

    • J.C.

      I really hope the pimax headsets are good. Was just in Vegas and tried the ZeroLatency VR experience, which uses OSVR headsets. The screens had noticeable (but not terrible) ghosting, and the tracking on them (and the gun) was AWFUL. Sickeningly so. The pimax headsets shouldn’t have the tracking issue, but the ghosting may well be there.

      Also, the backpack-worn laptops they use were CLEARLY struggling to run their fairly basic-looking zombie shooter game. With the image warp, delayed movement representation (everything I did was displayed 1/4 of a second later), sketchy tracking, ghosty screens and the ugly, hilariously buggy game we played, I feel that it will only serve to harm VR adoption. Seriously, Space Pirate Trainer on a Vive or Rift or probably even a Windows headset would have been better than what ZL has going on.

      • Rogue Transfer

        Your experience with OSVR is unrelated to the Pimax 8K headset. All previews say there is no noticeable ghosting due to Pimax’s custom low-persistence LCDs, which OSVR doesn’t have.

        Again, OSVR and ZeroLatency are in no way related to Pimax. It’s clearly wrong and uninformed to bring them another company’s product as anything related, considering how many positive reports on the Pimax 8K are in these aspects.

        It does sound like you had a terrible experience with ZeroLatency’s VR experience. But then people have terrible experiences with mobile phone VR too, it’s not fair to infer they’re might be similar to a vastly superior, reported system.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        The problem with VR is not only the hardawre but also the software, you need to develop and tune every app for each HMd specificly, at least thats my expierence as a devloper.
        Also the workflow for VR differs huge comapred to 2d screen games.

        sad to hear they did not deliver a good end result, i had had many of those expierences too as i visited many in China already delivering high end Robotic VR machines.

        VR still oyung, all will be better, just time it takes.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Don’t count on Pimax to be able to deliver large quantities of their headsets, and let’s first wait on actual reviews of the production models.. Ofcourse I do hope they will succeed.

  • Pablo C

    I guess it´s safe to say that the Rift is in more hands than the Vive, since right now are 50-50 on Steam VR (actually is 50/49 : Oculus/HTC), not counting those “few” who play only in Oculus home (5%ish?).

    • David Herrington

      These are only active users. So this doesn’t take into account the Vive users who purchased last year and stopped playing. But I’m guessing its still pretty close to 50/50.

    • Simon Wood

      It may also be a little distorted by the ‘adapters’ which allow other technology to pretend to be Vive, such as RiftCat for using a Cell-Phone as a HMD.

      • Caven

        The Steam hardware survey works by detecting the actual hardware. I was able to confirm that by simply plugging a Rift into a computer with absolutely no VR software or drivers of any sort installed, the Steam hardware survey was able to recognize the presence of the Rift.

  • David Herrington

    If HTC doesn’t do something soon (which I think they will) then they will be eclipsed by Oculus users very quickly. My prediction is that HTC will drop the price of the Vive around Thanksgiving to $400, and Oculus will drop the price of the Rift to $350 at Christmas/Thanksgiving.

    • Meow Smith

      But only because Christmas is coming ‘totally’ not because of oculus’s better pricing.

      htc at least come up with a more believable explanation this time instead of telling us a obvious lie.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Don’t count on HTC lowering the price of the Vive to $400 for quite some time, they cannot afford it, they are in deep financial trouble.. And Christmas season is right around the corner..

      • David Herrington

        If you are talking about Google buying part of HTC’s smartphone team then I wouldn’t call it deep financial trouble. They are shifting focus and just got an injection of $1.1 billion. Unless you are talking about something completely different.

  • J.C.

    Honestly, the only reason I’m annoyed with Rift’s increasing percentage of users is that it won’t help pressure Oculus into opening up their store properly. I’m hoping the release of the Windows headsets helps tilt the needle away a bit.

    Some day, maybe Oculus will see my money. But I’m not willing to pay them for being lazy. All coding to get a Lighthouse-based kit to work is completely legal for Oculus to do, they simply refuse to. Those using ReVive and PAYING for content on the Oculus store are literally rewarding Oculus for Doing The Wrong Thing.

    But I digress. The article itself is about Rift percentage use on Steam. I don’t care *which* headset someone chooses to buy (unless a careless company puts out one that’s so awful that it threatens to turn people away from VR), I care that people are buying VR headsets AT ALL. The more people that can play/build/socialize together in VR, the more it will thrive.

    • NooYawker

      Don’t worry, they can’t keep paying developers forever. Right now it’s easy, toss a few hundred grand, maybe even a million or two to develop something, but that will change soon enough.

      • daveinpublic

        They haven’t shown any signs of changing their support for the VR community.

    • MasterElwood

      They are doing the RIGHT thing. You bet on the wrong horse – now man up and stop crying because you can’t (officially) play the “other” games. *facepalm*

      • J.C.

        You don’t get it, but I’m not surprised. It seems like Oculus owners are willfully blind to reality. Had this been a discussion about Oculus Go, I’d agree with you. When they make all of the hardware involved, they’re welcome to lock software to it.

        Oculus is now one of 6 available PC-powered headsets. Soon to be one of ten (or eleven, if LG ever brings theirs out). One store (soon) supports all of them. One store supports ONE of them. How long do you really expect they can hold onto hardware exclusivity? I don’t care if Oculus wants to try to keep their store exclusive, but in the end, they can’t. They’ll eventually buckle, and when they do, they’ll pretend they’re doing something awesome, when it’ll actually be an act of self-preservation.

        • MasterElwood

          1. I owned a VIVE bevor the RIFT – so i am not just a “oculus owner”. 2. Yeah – it will NEVER work. Tell that to Apple :-))))))

          • J.C.

            Again, good job for having no reading comprehension. Apple makes their phones AND locks them to a store. A second device isn’t needed to make it work. I already said Oculus Go is a different story. But hey, way to blatantly ignore the linchpin.

  • Михаил Малеев

    Hello! This application has ARKIT + VR + 6DoF
    This is the only app in App Store Store with support for VR and AR and complete freedom of movement) https://youtu.be/ufAKZpgXg18

  • Cohen

    The Steam stats are very strange the last two months (especially this month), I wouldn’t trust them until they check their survey data. The Windows 7 share went from 36% to 65% within 2 months, the share of the GTX 960 + 750 Ti more than doubled since last month and tripled since summer and a lot of other “surprises”.

  • norml

    I doubt this is acurate there is a percentage of people using MR headsets and they appear to the games as vive. I know this because I use a MR headset on steam.

    • daveinpublic

      Seems like the article should be updated to reflect this.

  • Scott

    PIMAX is going to crush HTC. The new 200FOV headset sets the bar soo much higher

    • NooYawker

      And the next product will crush PIMAX, and so on and so on. There’s a lot that goes into a product aside from a stat sheet. If Pimax can mass produce their product with quality part and good quality control, they still have to get the word out. If no one knows what a Pimax is, having better FOV isn’t going to equate a sale.

    • Wrinkly

      “PIMAX is going to crush HTC”, Is it really that heavy?

      Even with a 1080Ti FTW3, I’m waiting to see what hardware is required for 90 FPS.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    new view?

    • RFC_VR

      “new” Daydream View…as Google are not calling it v.2 or 2nd generation.

      Retailers seem to have it listed as MY17 View (model year 2017).

      Lenses are night/day leap over original View and considerably better than my Vive. From early report, lenses in new View and Oculus Go are substantially better than Vive and Rift. Bodes well for 2nd generation PC VR!

  • This shows how price is really important