Steam Retains VR Surge Four Months After Half-Life: Alyx Launch

Half-Life: Alyx led to an enormous leap in VR utilization on Steam when it launched again in March. 4 months later, there’s almost as many VR headsets on Steam as there have been proper after the sport’s launch.

Every month Valve collects information from Steam customers to find out some baseline statistics about what sort of hardware and software program is utilized by the platform’s inhabitants, and to see how issues are altering over time, together with the usage of VR headsets.

Whereas we had anticipated that Half-Life: Alyx would result in a surge in VR utilization on Steam, we additionally figured that solely a portion of that surge would stay in the long term. Surprisingly, Steam seems to have retained almost the entire progress in VR utilization introduced on by Alyx 4 months after the launch of the sport, in line with Valve’s month-to-month Steam Survey.

The truth is, should you look purely on the share of Steam customers with VR headsets, this month’s determine is barely increased than the height introduced in by Alyx.

Month-to-month-connected VR Headsets on Steam

The information shared within the survey represents the variety of headsets related to Steam over a given month, so we name the ensuing determine ‘monthly-connected headsets’ for readability; it’s the closest official determine there may be to ‘month-to-month lively VR customers’ on Steam, with the caveat that it solely tells us what number of VR headsets have been related not what number of have been used.

The newest figures for the month of July present that 1.93% of Steam customers had a VR headset related to their PC over the course of the month, which is definitely the very best the share of VR customers on Steam has ever been.

To place this into perspective, Steam customers with related VR headsets are about twice as widespread as these utilizing Linux, and a bit greater than half as widespread as these utilizing MacOS.

Whereas Valve’s information is a helpful approach see which headsets are hottest on Steam, the development of monthly-connected headsets has at all times been obfuscated as a result of the info is given completely as percentages relative to Steam’s inhabitants—which itself is an unspoken and always fluctuating determine.

To demystify the info Highway to VR maintains a mannequin, based mostly on the historic survey information together with official information factors straight from Valve and Steam, which goals to right for Steam’s altering inhabitants to estimate the precise depend—not the %—of headsets getting used on Steam.

From the mannequin we estimate there was 2.6 million monthly-connected VR headsets on Steam in July. Though the share of VR customers in July (1.93%) was ever so barely increased than the April Alyx peak (1.92%), from a uncooked quantity standpoint we estimate that April nonetheless held the sting with 2.7 million headsets that month. Nonetheless, 4 months later, almost the entire Alyx spike has remained.

As we are able to see on the graph, June appeared to have a sudden drop however recovered rapidly. It isn’t clear if that is only a blip within the information or if June actually did see round 400,000 fewer headsets than July. Valve did make some tweaks to the Survey (which now breaks down extra headsets and VR streaming drivers), although they didn’t particularly say dip can be anticipated.

Share of VR Headsets on Steam

As for the share of particular person headsets on Steam, the largest winner in July was Valve Index (+1.55%) which now represents 14.45% of all headsets on Steam. That’s shocking contemplating the numerous world backorder that the headset has confronted in the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. This can be an indication that Index has begun delivery steadily once more, however that Valve continues to be churning by its backlog of orders.

Oculus Quest additionally had a giant month (+1.26%) for an total 10.13% share of headsets. If it retains rising at this fee it might nicely eclipse Valve’s Index.

On the dropping aspect, first-gen headsets are giving option to newer headsets. The unique Rift CV1 (−1.03%) at 13.63% now holds lower than Index for the primary time. The unique Vive (−1.06%) is declining too however nonetheless holds a powerful 23.03% of the share of headsets on Steam.

Home windows VR headsets (−zero.99%) have continued their regular decline, now at 7.36% from their June 2019 peak of 11.13%. Later this 12 months HP will launch Reverb G2, the primary new Home windows VR headset, since Samsung’s Odyssey+ in 2018. We’ll have an interest to see if the headset alone can breath new life into the bloc.

Trying on the headset distributors total, the ‘massive two’ nonetheless maintain robust; Oculus headsets (+zero.69%) now maintain 45.55% and HTC headsets (−zero.89%) 28.82% of all headsets on Steam. Valve (+1.55%) continues to be a considerably distant third at 14.45%, however closing the hole as HTC’s total share of headsets continues to say no from its 39.28% share this time final 12 months. Home windows VR headsets (−zero.99%) are giving approach too, now at simply 7.36%.

As ever, it’s value noting that the Steam Survey solely offers us a glimpse of the general VR market, because it solely counts headsets related to Steam. Which means it doesn’t depend some portion of Rift & Quest customers which can not use Steam in any respect, nor different main headsets like PlayStation VR on PS4 and Quest standalone.

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