Image courtesy Valve

VR Headset Growth on Steam Makes Biggest Leap Yet, Eclipses Linux Steam Users

    Categories: NewsSteam Hardware/Software SurveyVR Industry

It appears that the 2018 holiday shopping season was one of the best ever for PC VR headsets. The latest data released today from Valve shows VR making its single biggest leap yet, on a path toward 1 million monthly-connected headsets.

There’s now more Steam users with VR headsets connected to their PCs (0.91%) than there are Linux users running Steam (0.82%), which includes all of Valve’s ‘Steam Machine’ consoles running the company’s Linux-based SteamOS.

That’s according to the January data from Valve’s Steam Survey. Each month the company collects info from Steam users to determine some baseline statistics about what kind of hardware and software is used by the platform’s 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, and headsets aren’t counted if they aren’t powered on and recognized by the user’s PC at the moment that the data is collected.

Data is captured over the course of the month which tells us how many unique headsets were connected to users’ PCs over that time period; we call the resulting figure ‘monthly-connected headsets’ for clarity.

The latest figures show the single biggest leap yet in monthly-connected VR headsets on Steam (+0.11%), now with 0.91% of the population having headsets connected to their computers, up from 0.80% the month prior.

Data courtesy Valve

January’s data is the fifth continuous month of gains in monthly-connected headsets on Steam, and the new record high on the platform, no doubt driven by the holiday sales season which saw numerous deals across headsets. The record high figure follows a trend of exponential growth in monthly-connected headsets on Steam which Road to VR recently reported. By our estimate, the number of monthly-connected headsets on Steam now stands at some 871,000, an increase of more than 100,000 from the month prior, and a strong step toward the 1 million headset milestone which we expect to see in 2019.

Image courtesy Valve

As for the marketshare of individual headsets on Steam, Rift was the winner in January, taking a bite out of most others, now holding 47.03% (+0.58%) share. Generally speaking, other headsets shared evenly in the share reduction: Vive (-0.20%), Vive Pro (-0.21%), DK2 (-0.23%), Huawei VR2 (-0.01%). Though it didn’t amount to much; all headset makers likely saw a solid holiday boost even if the Rift came out a bit ahead.

Only Windows VR headsets escaped the Rift’s gains in January, managing to scrape +0.05% share from the competition, while continuing a growth spree now spanning nine months.

As ever, it’s worth noting that the Steam Survey only gives us a glimpse of the overall VR market, as it only counts headsets connected to Steam, which means it doesn’t count some portion of Rift users which may not use Steam at all. Other major headsets like PlayStation VR aren’t counted at all, nor are any non-PC headsets like Oculus Go, Gear VR, Daydream, Vive Focus, etc.