Games News

Steam's VR userbase has doubled in 2018, still not that many

HTC
Photo of the HTC Vive headset with controllers on a blank background.
HTC Vive

It seems as we're in a perfect place to confirm Mark Twain's popular classification of lies, as Steam have indeed managed to double their VR userbase in 2018. That being said, it's still not enough to make up for 1 per cent of its total.

In case you're not familiar with Twain's love of this particular branch of number crunching, the man once said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics". And indeed, it's hard to fault his reasoning in this case because quadrupling your yesterday's diet when all you've had is a Tic Tac still ain't that much, is it?

Nevertheless, VR is still an emerging technology and any progress is encouraging in its quest to become a mainstream tech, even if the adoption rates weren't as great as the expectations surrounding it.

Gabe and Co already said that Steam exceeded 90 million users sometime in October, which would mean that the 0.8 per cent of the platform's userbase translates to somewhere around 720,000 VR owners.

According to Steam's hardware survey, Oculus Rift leads the pack with 37 per cent of the VR market share. HTC Vive is close behind at 33 per cent while the rest had to settle for what's left.

As you'd expect, HTC's price drops at the beginning of 2018 did well to improve their VR track record, but, coincidentally or not, Oculus Rift also saw a sharp uptake in demand in that same period. Whether this is due to the few exclusives it's got or just some clever marketing remains to be seen.

This would mean that Steam's VR userbase roughly matches the size of the platform's Linux playerbase. Granted, their figures should be changing as well in the upcoming period as Valve continue to iterate on Steam Play, which went into beta towards the end of October 2018.

HTCHTC Vive Pro promotional picture. It looks like any other VR headset.HTC Vive Pro

Ultimately though, we should not forget that VR gaming gear has really come a long way as it is and we're sure The Lawnmower Man would agree with us. The only remaining obstacle seems to be the pricing, but that's nothing that a few tactical price drops in 2019 cannot fix.

You can find Steam's hardware survey here or read more here.