Oculus headsets now make up more than 50% of VR headsets on Steam, according to the September Hardware Survey.
The Facebook-owned brand’s total has hovered just below 50% for around two years now. They have only ever crossed this landmark twice in the past- before the launch of the original HTC Vive in early 2016, and before the launch of the Vive Pro and Windows MR in 2017, just after the Rift was cut to $399.
The gains are driven by sales of the Oculus Rift S, which jumped from 10.85% in August to 13.03% last month. Rift S is the replacement for the original Oculus Rift. It launched back in May and is priced at $399. It replaces the contrived external sensor system of the original Rift with a five camera inside-out tracking system and has a higher resolution display.
Valve’s system, the Index, has also seen growth. It jumped from 3.32% in August to 4.98% last month. Index is a $999 premium headset which offers a wider field of view than other headsets, more realistic audio, and natural controllers. The company has been releasing bugfixes and workarounds recently and intends to release a full scale first party VR game later this year.
Windows MR headsets have taken yet another dive, dropping from 8.24% to 5.87%. This decline starting just after the launch of Rift S and Index, and continuing as they grow, suggests that Windows MR users have been upgrading to Facebook and Valve headsets. This decline could also be linked to many of the headsets no longer being produced, but the Oculus DK2 and original HTC Vive are also hard to find and haven’t seen the same drastic level of decline.
Despite being priced as low as $150, Microsoft’s platform simply hasn’t stuck with Steam users, potentially due to a combination of weak branding and low quality hardware.
Astonishingly, if Index’s growth and WMR’s decline continue at this rate, more people will soon use Index than all WMR headsets combined- a feat the Rift S crossed last month.
More importantly than relative market share however, the overall percentage of Steam users with a VR headset has once again grown, from 1.04% to 1.09%- another all time high.
This continues PC VR’s slow but steady growth. With AAA titles like Asgard’s Wrath and Stormland releasing soon and Oculus Quest getting PC VR support, we’ll hopefully see a more rapid rate of growth near the end of the year.