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Analysis Hardware Monthly-connected VR Headsets on Steam Reach Record High of 1.3 Million (Half Life: Alyx Hype is Real!!!)

Jan 11, 2019
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Valve’s monthly Steam Survey has long offered useful insight into the share of VR headsets in use on Steam. But the figures provided are relative to the non-static Steam population, which obfuscates the actual adoption trend of VR headsets on the platform. To demystify the data, Road to VR has developed a proprietary model which derives actual headset counts by correcting for Steam’s changing population. The latest data shows that monthly-connected VR headsets on Steam have reached a record high of 1.3 million in December.

Introduction
Each month Valve collects info 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 survey is optional, and headsets aren’t counted if they aren’t powered on and recognized by Steam at the moment that the data is collected.

Data is captured over the course of the month, which tells us how many headsets were connected to users’ PCs over that time period; we call the resulting figure ‘monthly-connected headsets’ for clarity.

While Valve’s data has been a useful way see which headsets are most popular on Steam, the trend of monthly-connected headsets has always been obfuscated because the data points are exclusively given as percentages relative to Steam’s population—which itself is an unstated and constantly fluctuating figure.

To demystify the data, Road to VR has created a model based on the historical data, along with official data points directly from Valve and Steam, which corrects for Steam’s changing population to estimate the actual count—not the percent—of users on Steam with connected VR headsets.

Monthly-connected VR Headsets on Steam

Data gap from seven months of data misreported by Valve
After correcting for Steam’s changing population, we find that December 2019 reached a new record high with an estimated 1,342,000 monthly-connected VR headsets on Steam, beating the previous record set in September 2019 of 1,218,000 headsets. Year over year, monthly-connected headsets are up 75%.

Worth noting about the results: we’re talking about monthly-connected headsets here, as the underlying Steam Survey data is a snapshot of activity for each month. In the case of VR headsets, that means that the figure we’re estimating is how many unique headsets are connected to Steam users’ PCs over the course of a given month; it’s the closest official data point we have to active headsets, but doesn’t tell us the extent to which those headsets are actually being used, nor does it tell us much about gross VR headset sales figures.

Furthermore, the Steam Survey comes from a sample of the user population, not a comprehensive census—though Valve maintains the data offers an accurate snapshot. And of course, these figures are only inclusive of Steam, and don’t offer a complete picture of activity on the Oculus PC platform (or any insight at all on Oculus Quest and Sony’s PlayStation VR).

Trend Line
As with our previous analyses, the growth of monthly-connect headsets on Steam continues to closely fit an exponential curve with an R² value of 0.986, starting from the month that the first consumer headsets hit the market back in 2016.

It’s not clear how long this trend will continue, but we can make a (naive) projection based on what we’re seeing today by drawing out the line. Doing so suggests some 2.75 million monthly-connected headsets by the end of 2020.



Of course this projection is purely drawing out the exponential line, and doesn’t attempt to account for an array of other factors: crucially, in a young market like VR, things like cost, new features, and innovative content (or lack thereof) stand to influence the trend in significant ways. We certainly expect that the release of Half-Life: Alyx in March will have an immediate and lingering impact on the trend.

Steam VR Headset Marketshare
Looking at the latest Steam Survey data in detail for December 2019, we can see that the percent of the Steam population with connected headsets rose to 1.09% from the month prior (+0.07%). That figure continues to grow, having surpassed Steam’s Linux population for the first time back in January 2019; it would seem that the next big milestone for VR on Steam will be to surpass the OSX Steam population, which is still pretty far away at 3.06% of Steam users.



Breaking down the marketshare of headsets on Steam in December 2019: the Oculus Rift S saw a huge leap over the prior month to 18.46% (+3.63%), and Index saw a strong gain as well, now holding 6.67% (+1.74%) of the share of headsets on Steam.

Most of those gains came from losses in the original HTC Vive which is down to 29.75% (-2.89%), the original Oculus Rift at 33% (-2.55%), and Windows Mixed Reality headsets at 8.78% (-0.27%).

HTC’s latest headset, Vive Cosmos, has only gained a paltry 0.41% of the share of headsets on Steam. The figure is so low compared to contemporary headsets that if it isn’t an outright error, sales of the headset must be vanishingly few. All HTC headsets on Steam still account for 32.58% of the share, but this has been on a steady decline, losing 11.06% since the same time last year.

Oculus has soaked up much of those loses, with the Rift and Rift S collectively holding 51.46% of the share of headsets on Steam, a gain of 5.01% since the same time last year. And though is hasn’t grown as fast as the cheaper Rift S, Valve’s high-end Index headset has seen surprising traction, quickly surpassing HTC’s Vive Pro just two months after its launch, now holding 6.67% of the share compared to Vive Pro’s 2.42%.
 

Romulus

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Mar 21, 2019
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It's not going anywhere for a loooooooong time. Deal with it.

This isn't counting the new The Walking Dead exclusive VR game either, which is really fucking good and popular.
 
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rofif

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Sep 13, 2019
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Ive sold S few months ago but now I have no choice. I must rebuy it for alyx.
Index is very expensive for me and Ive heard its focal length is further than S so it might be not as good for short sighted people
 
Feb 22, 2018
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99% of them spending 99% of their playtime in VR chat.

Alyx looks dope but its a passing thing, ultimate it will be played, finished and set aside. We need some persistent mmo's for VR.
 

Thaedolus

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Jun 9, 2004
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99% of them spending 99% of their playtime in VR chat.

Alyx looks dope but its a passing thing, ultimate it will be played, finished and set aside. We need some persistent mmo's for VR.

Literally never booted up VR chat but ok. VTOL is my shit, can’t wait for more flight sim support
 

DarthBuzzer

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New January data is in. The active userbase now sits at 1.31% of Steam users, which means it jumped 0.21%, 3x the growth from December.

Oculus Quest with a link cable is still not counted in any of this, so that's also something to consider.
 
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Wonko_C

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New January data is in. The active userbase now sits at 1.31% of Steam users, which means it jumped 0.21%, 3x the growth from December.

Oculus Quest with a link cable is still not counted in any of this, so that's also something to consider.
Love the enthusiasm of your posts on era (assuming you're the same DarthBuzzard with the Quill avatar), I wish I could post there myself since there's a lot more VR talk over there, but alas, I lost my paid mail account.
 
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GlassAwful

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Neat. This confirms the next HL game is about to be the lowest selling entry in the franchise by a large margin.

By about I mean, about 6-12 months from now when Alyx actually comes out. That's a whole lot of new VR owners feeling buyers regret real soon..
 

Romulus

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Neat. This confirms the next HL game is about to be the lowest selling entry in the franchise by a large margin.

By about I mean, about 6-12 months from now when Alyx actually comes out. That's a whole lot of new VR owners feeling buyers regret real soon..

Valve already knows it'll sell less, if they really cared about sales, it would be on consoles and a normal PC game.

And why would people have buyers regret? VR is the most suprisingly good platform I've invested in with a massive backlog of games.
 
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DarthBuzzer

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Love the enthusiasm of your posts on era (assuming you're the same DarthBuzzard with the Quill avatar), I wish I could post there myself since there's a lot more VR talk over there, but alas, I lost my paid mail account.
Nah, that's my twin.

(Yeah it's me, I prefer Era these days because it's less prone to trolls. Key word is less though, you still get the crazies)

I don't have a paid email account either. You can basically just email reseterastaff@gmail.com and they should be able to create an account for you if you explain you don't have a paid email.
 
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Vawn

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I'm glad VR is growing. It's an amazing way to play games, but with too small of a library of super high quality games due to the currently still low playerbase.

I really hope Half Life eventually makes it to PSVR.
 

Romulus

Member
Mar 21, 2019
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Nah, that's my twin.

(Yeah it's me, I prefer Era these days because it's less prone to trolls. Key word is less though, you still get the crazies)

I don't have a paid email account either. You can basically just email reseterastaff@gmail.com and they should be able to create an account for you if you explain you don't have a paid email.

Yep, just don't post outside of gaming discussions unless you're a super liberal.
 
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Feb 22, 2018
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VR chat concurrent players yesterday; 12,000

Top selling vr game that made it to steam top 20 list (50,000 copies sold)
vacation simulator, concurrent players yesterday; 57

ehem
 

Romulus

Member
Mar 21, 2019
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VR chat concurrent players yesterday; 12,000

Top selling vr game that made it to steam top 20 list (50,000 copies sold)
vacation simulator, concurrent players yesterday; 57

ehem

Best saber sold over a million on all, no way it fell below 50k on steam.
 

TheShadowLord

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Jan 7, 2018
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I probably will get the quest or rift s to paly it. The Index is too much money and I did wish Valve had also made a lower price Index to go along with the higher price Index.
 

Alexios

Formerly 'Alextended'
Jan 30, 2010
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I wish there was more competition to Oculus with similarly robust medium-range products, it's crazy they maintain 50%+ of the PC VR market (and more as, yeah, some people only use Oculus store, weirdos) just because the rest consumer oritented products either are too high or too low end. If Microsoft hadn't seemingly abandoned their WMR initiative but updated the specs for a second wave with tracking on par with Rift/Quest we could be getting much nicer pricing or at least the choice of different products with the trade offs each of us is willing to make like screen vs features or whatever else, instead they're now all at the low end of the spectrum and mostly for people who can't or don't want to invest more (but at least with all the units out in the wild and discounts they can get formerly premium stuff at good prices and only trade off the hand tracking range). And HTC totally blew it with the Cosmos costing so much and being practically inferior. Maybe we'll get an Index Lite with inside out tracking, no expansion ports or face plate stuff and controllers without finger tracking (or at least not to the same degree as the current model)?

That said I'm not convinced RoadtoVR's methods to get total numbers out of the % statistics are entirely accurate, it seems too simple and obvious somehow?
 
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Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
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Thread title reads like a verbatim translated anime episode title.

HYPE FOR ALYX VR?! UTTER SALES DESTRUCTION!