Steam Survey: HTC & Windows VR See Gains as Oculus Awaits New Headsets


As the VR market is poised for a handful of new headsets launching in the coming weeks, the latest Steam Survey unsurprisingly shows Vive and Windows VR making some gains after Oculus discontinued the Rift ahead of the launch of the Rift S.

Each month Valve collects data 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 data collection is optional, and headsets aren’t counted if they aren’t powered on and recognized by the user’s PC at the moment the data is collected.

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

After a sizeable leap in monthly-connected headsets from February (0.89%) to March (0.96%), the latest data for April shows 0.92% of the total Steam population having VR headsets connected to their computers. While that’s a drop from the month prior, the overall trend remains consistently upward:

Monthly-connected VR headsets as of April 2019 (gap caused by erroneous Stream Survey data) | Data courtesy Valve, chart by Road to VR

As for individual headsets, April’s data shows gains in share of headsets in use on Steam by HTC and Windows VR, mostly at the expense of Oculus.

Chart courtesy Valve

In April the Vive is up to 41.08% (+1.53%) and the Vive Pro at 1.51% (+0.06%), giving the two headsets a combined share of 42.59% in April, the first time the headsets have collectively seen growth in share in five months. Windows VR’s share grew slightly to 11.07% (+0.50%), continuing a slow but steady growth streak now 12 months running.

The Oculus Rift still reigns as the most popular headset on Steam with 45.62% share, despite losing 1.93% in April. That said, HTC and Windows VR didn’t grow in share alone; both saw their highest ever actual count of monthly-connected headsets in April.

Oculus’ loss in share isn’t surprising as the company has made no secret of its two new headsets—Quest and Rift S, which are due to launch next week—and even discontinued the original Rift headset in late March, making their only PC VR headset unavailable for two months before its successor will launch.

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