Fewer than 2 percent of Steam users own a VR headset

Written by Jennifer Allen

May 5, 2020 | 13:00

Tags: #half-life-alyx #oculus-quest #vr #vr-headset

Companies: #steam #valve

A recent hardware survey by Valve has found that only 1.9 percent of its users own VR headsets, but that's actually an improvement compared to past records. 

The survey solely tracks the number of headsets connected to Steam over a particular month so it doesn't account for headsets that are connected but not actively used. Still, it's a good example of near accurate numbers when it comes to VR usage. 

While 1.9 percent is incredibly low, April 2020 saw a surge in VR users, with numbers roughly three times the prior record back in the winter of 2019. Estimates by Road to VR reckon nearly 1 million additional headsets were counted during that time. Why? Half-Life: Alyx, of course! The release of the much-anticipated game is likely to have brought the total number of connected headsets up to 2.7 million. 

It makes sense given how excited many were of a new Half-Life instalment, plus there were many reports of numerous VR headsets selling out before its launch. While the game is yet to be the killer app that VR is crying out for, it's certainly helped a fair bit thanks to being a great game. 

Interestingly, while 1.9 percent sounds like not much at all, it actually makes VR twice as popular on Steam as Linux users, and about half as common as those using MacOS. As a side note, SteamVR has just dropped Mac support in favour of Windows and Linux. It all suddenly makes perfect sense given these figures. 

While none of this sounds hugely promising when it comes to VR love, Valve's share of the market has increased. The survey suggests that it's now the third biggest VR hardware manufacturer on Steam behind Oculus and HTC. That comes only a year after the launch of its Valve Index so that's not too bad at all. 

Alongside that comes news that the Oculus Quest was the biggest winner here. It saw a 3.14 percent increase on previous figures. We're guessing the ability to use it as a standalone headset as well as the flexibility of connecting it to a PC helps out here. 

The Steam hardware survey offers plenty of other interesting insight too if you're a stats fan. Enjoy seeing how Nvidia rules the roost with graphics cards, Intel maintains dominance when it comes to CPUs, and most users have between 250GB and 499GB of free space. 


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