The monthly Steam hardware survey is out again, and while June hasn’t revealed any major upsets in the balances of usership between HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the survey shows that Windows “Mixed Reality” VR headsets are making slow, but steady headway on the platform.

Each month, Valve runs the 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.

Using the Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR compatibility layer, users can then play VR games on Steam that were originally designed for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Windows also hosts WMR-only games on the Microsoft Store.

Image courtesy Valve

Referring to last month’s survey, which saw Rift and Vive numbers at close to parity, Windows VR headsets reported on the platform have gone up about a half percentage point—not a big change by any means, but a continued march forward for the class of VR devices manufactured by HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, and Asus.

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Most of the headsets (excluding Samsung Odyssey) boast the same basic hardware specs: inside-out optical tracking, dual 1,440 × 1,440 LCD panels, 90Hz refresh, and around a 100 degree field of view.

The slow uptick in Windows VR users is likely tied to the individual headsets ever decreasing price. At the time of this writing, a new HP VR headset and a pair of motion controllers can be had for as little as $200 on Amazon, or $250 lower than its MSRP. Many of the Windows VR headsets retail for a similarly deep discount now, outside of the Samsung Odyssey, which regularly sells for slightly less than its $500 MSRP.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Rise_of_Chaos

    If you’ve got Windows 10 tamed they are a great deal… the inside out tracking isn’t always perfect but for the price its a great way to start.

    • Grey Lock

      True! I have a Rift but picked up a couple of WMR headsets so I could play co-op with my grandkids – thankfully Steam supports all major headsets!

  • Tom Allen

    The Windows headset is *way* easier to set up and use than is Oculus. At my company we hired a vendor to create a VR experience to demo our product at trade shows. They used Oculus and it takes them 8 hours to set up Oculus cameras on tripods. OMG! It takes 10 minutes to set up the Windows headset.

    • DjArcas

      8 hours? Takes 10 minutes if you’re blessed with the use of 2 arms.

      • Tom Allen

        Sorry, but you can attach 6 cameras to the ceiling and calibrate the Oculus in 10 minutes???!!

    • Tharg

      Maybe that says more about your vendor than the Oculus

      • Tom Allen

        Actually, the vendor WorldViz did a nice job. But our product is like an MRI machine with a bench for the patient. Calibrating Oculus cameras with the real world bench location was hard. Here the Microsoft experience with easy world mapping — from Hololens AR — would have made the problem much easier to solve if they had started with the Microsoft solution.

  • Satish Goda

    I love my WMR headset. Painless and simple to use.

  • RJH

    The only thing that is lacking on my WMR is the tracking. generally works fine but playing things like SportsBarVR (Pool/Snooker) is very tricky once your controller is out of tracking range. The ‘virtual pool cue’ ends up being about 12 inches long! :)

  • If you have a headset that costs half of the others and you are still at 6%, you are not performing that well IMHO