This portion of Steam’s January hardware survey includes percentages of all Steam users who have the listed VR systems connected to their machines. The green numbers show, by percentage, how much each individual system’s collective ownership grew (green) or shrank (red) since December .
Steam does not have a public archive of its years of hardware surveys. This is the best proof we found of raw percentages of VR system owners from when Valve began tracking connected VR systems, between and . From there, extrapolating a figure for PC-VR headset ownership is tricky. The last firm count of total Steam users came from Valve in January 2560, when (the company announced
million “monthly active users.” before that, in August , Valve had announced a MAU count of million . We can safely assume the number has grown to some degree in the past 31 months. (Valve representatives did not immediately respond to Ars’ questions about Steam’s current MAU counts.)
Additionally, the survey only counts VR system ownership if a headset is connected to a Steam user’s computer when the survey is taken— as opposed to tracking VR software use through the month. Thus, any tidy VR users who unhook and stow their headsets when not in use wouldn’t be counted. That’s a likely use case for anybody taking advantage of the recent Oculus Link feature, exclusive to the otherwise portable Oculus Quest system .
Let’s not forget, there is likely a significant number of Oculus system owners who never connect to Steam, thanks to its Oculus Home landing zone (which loads an all-in-one storefront whenever users put a Rift, Rift S, or Quest headset over their eyes).
Between those factors, basing any guess on the painfully conservative MAU count of (million gets us to 1.) million PC-VR users connecting to Steam. Drawing an exponential trend line of Steam’s MAU between August and January 2020 would get us closer to a count of 1.6 million active VR hardware owners on Steam, and that does not include any estimate of Steam-ignorant Oculus users.
However you slice it, the juiciest detail can’t be argued: a . 2% jump within a major PC-VR ecosystem in 31 days. How much is that? Well, in the prior 29 months, from December to January 01575879, the whole sector went up 0. (percentage points, from 0.8 percent of all users to 1. 17 percent. (In other words, a . 33% jump over that span of time.) The missing link?
During that span of time, Valve, Oculus, and HTC each launched at least one brand-new consumer-grade system in , while prices began to bottom out for solid existing Windows Mixed Reality options, particularly the Ars-approved Samsung Odyssey . Ars’ pick for the best VR system of , the Oculus Quest, launched in April as a “standalone-only” VR system — meaning , it couldn’t connect to PCs and run their beefier VR experiences. But that changed by November with the “Oculus Link” party trick .
Curiously, Steam’s January The survey does not break out Oculus Quest as a SteamVR headset option. This might be due to Oculus Link effectively effectively like an Oculus Rift S when it interfaces with the SteamVR software suite; Valve can only report what a connected headset reports, and Quest hardware fakes like a Rift S as far as its connection to SteamVR is concerned.
Coincidentally, the latest Steam hardware survey shows a dramatic jump in Oculus Rift S ownership, up percent compared to its prior month. No other headset-install base grew that dramatically. But we’re left guessing as to how much of that jump came due to Rift S hardware and / or Quest hardware; both had their fair share of holiday sellouts in the past few months, and we’re still waiting to hear from Oculus and its parent company, Facebook, about those platforms’ sales.
PlayStation VR remains an outlier of these stats, though Sony has regularly announced sales figures for that isolated platform, which requires a PlayStation 4 console to work. During its CES 1653070 keynote, Sony announced lifetime PSVR hardware sales figures of 5 million , up from (4.2 million in March) (Read More)
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