In the latest set of data from Vale’s monthly Steam Hardware & Software survey, the Vive Pro has finally made an official entrance and shows that the gap between Rift and Vive isn’t as wide as it appeared.

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 September numbers show the Oculus Rift furthering its lead in headset marketshare on Steam, now at 47.27% (+0.16%) over the HTC Vive’s 42.36% (−0.22%). Meanwhile Windows VR headsets also rose slightly, continuing a five month growth streak, now at 7.22% (+0.04%).

Image courtesy Valve

For the first time since its launch back in April, HTC’s Vive Pro headset is now formerly represented in the data. We had actually spotted its influence in months past when we noticed that the total percentages provided by the Steam survey weren’t adding up to 100%. Road to VR reached out to Valve who has since corrected the issue, putting the Vive Pro properly on the chart and confirming our suspicion that the missing percentages were tied to the Vive Pro. With that said, we now know the Vive Pro’s share among SteamVR headsets dating back to April:

4/18 5/18 6/18 7/18 8/18 9/18
Vive Pro 0.49% 1.22% 1.42% 1.81% 1.95% 2.03%


Growth has been slow for the Vive Pro—to be expected of by far the most expensive headset to appear in the data—having taken six months to reach 2% headset share on Steam. Windows VR headsets on the other hand, which are much cheaper, hit 2% share less than a month after becoming available.

Interestingly, the Huawei VR2 headset also recently appeared in the data (a 3DOF SteamVR compatible headset released back in May), but it presently makes up 0% of the Steam headset share, according to the survey data.

While the gap between the Rift and Vive has been slowly growing wider over the last few months, accounting for the Vive Pro reveals the gap to be smaller that it previously appeared, with the Rift now at 47.27% and the Vive & Vive Pro at 44.39% (compared to 42.36% for the Vive alone). An argument could be made then to add the Rift DK2 development kit to the Rift total (which would add 1.11%), but we have reason to believe that a large portion of Rift DK2’s in the Steam data are knockoff headsets representing themselves as real DK2 headsets.

According to the August figures, overall 0.72% (−0.02%) of the sampled Steam users had VR headsets connected to their computers at the time of the survey, representing a 14% growth in headsets on Steam over five months prior. [Why 5 months prior? Valve has previously stated there were some data anomalies in the Steam survey between September 2017 and March 2018; 5 months prior is the nearest known good data point for comparison].

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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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Jistuce

    We’re almost to one percent VR usage! Keep pushing, everyone!

  • Luke

    I’s too cheap we need to increase the price of the device.

  • Pasi Ripari

    “Growth has been slow for the Vive Pro—to be expected of by far the most expensive headset to appear in the data”

    Oh, that’s not why the growth is slow – it’s slow because Vive Pro is poor quality. Poor software, poor build quality. I’ve had two of them now and the troubleshooting is endless. Just yesterday lost voice from left ear phone. Common issue. TOO MANY COMMON ISSUES.

    Other devices aren’t better, mind you, but it’s an absolute travesty how hard it is to get into VR even if you’re willing to pay. Good luck hitting mainstream with this.

    Rant over. Yes, I’m salty like a salt mine.

    • Lou Cipher

      “Common issue.” What are you on about? I visit the Vive Reddit all the time, and this has never been mentioned. So you had a faulty unit, and then bought a second without having the first one repaired under warranty? Interesting.

      ps. The Pro is overpriced, but rock solid.

      • Pasi Ripari

        I don’t know about reddit, but plenty of results on google. I had a faulty unit, returned it, got another, and now that one is busted.

        ps. Far from rock solid, even on vive reddit you can find tons of different issues. More like on laxatives. That’s how solid.

      • Sandy Wich

        Rock solid like it’s Walmart microphone, right?

    • Icebeat

      you are a very unlucky man, I have a Vive Pro for 6 months and never have a problem with it, my previous was a Vive OG and same history. I guess I am a freking lucky bastard.

      • Sandy Wich

        You’re not lucky, it’s just some devices have a higher lemon % than others.

    • ra51

      Had mine since launched. Only issues i’ve had is the weird audio when it gets all tinny every so often which is annoying. I found a fix on reddit which i hate to do but it always fixes it. Other than that, still the best headset i’ve used so far.

    • mirak

      Never heard of issues.
      That’s not what prevent people from buying it.

    • I pre ordered vive pro but when i got it it had a manufacturer defect in the left eye piece like a faint dull grey ring effect in the screen.

      For what i paid the spec upgrades were not worth it so ended up returning it.

  • Waiting for the day until VR is affordable to most people.

  • Oculus is gaining always more shares…

  • Renzo V

    off topic but WMR is also gaining ground, i think in April WMr was almost 5 %, now is over 7. interesting

    • Sandy Wich

      It’s gaining ground because several of the units for sale are basically free. You can buy WMR for 150-200 dollars for a complete package while even the entry level CV1 Rift package is what? 400 dollars? Maybe more?

      Lots of people are VR curious right now and are testing their interest by buying the cheapest thing on the market.