Every month Steam holds their optional Hardware Survey which lets users vote on their favorite platforms and shows the distribution of hardware among the users who voted, amongst other things.
Valve had just released their Best of 2017 list which also shows the top 100 VR games according to gross sales, and now they also released their survey results which shows that Oculus Rift is taking a slight lead in the ‘Most Popular’ VR headset category. Which is quite interesting considering Steam is the native platform of HTC Vive.
When it comes to the distribution numbers, we see a close in the gap between Vive and Rift users, which goes from 3% in November to just 1,12% in December. So for now HTC is still holding the lead on the platform by its fingertips with 47.26% total users compared to Rift’s 46.14%. Overall, Vive lost 2.2% compared to November. However, this change might not be due to an increase or decrease in popularity for either of the headsets, but rather the addition of the Windows Mixed Reality headsets which have started gaining a foothold in the survey.
December is the first month they feature and since the platform has such a wide variety of headsets available at different price points, it stands to reason that the new contender will also have a share in the pie. It isn’t as large compared to the others yet, but it’s certainly growing at 4.35% of the total VR distribution.
Oculus Rift Is All The Rage Now. By 0.01 Percent.
However, the most interesting part of the survey was under Steam’s ‘Most Popular’ hardware metric which showed that the most popular VR headset according to those who voted is Oculus Rift by 0.17% over the Vive’s 0.16%. Despite the Vive’s overall usage being higher on the platform and Oculus Rift users having their own platform in Oculus Home, the headset still beat out its competition. Sure, 0.01% isn’t exactly a large difference, but taking into account the platform preferences mentioned above, it does become significant. Although, there is no data on how many Rift users prefer Steam over Oculus Home. So at this point would be impractical to speculate anything.
But hey, maybe this is a small indication of what we can expect of the year to come. We’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on how the Windows Mixed Reality headsets fare since the platform is essentially the new kid on the block.