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

New figures immediately from Valve reveal the expansion of VR customers on Steam in 2021.

Shared by Valve this week, the Steam 2021 12 months in Overview provides us some recent official stats about VR utilization on the platform.

Valve says “new VR customers grew one other 11% in 2021,” with “distinctive [VR] play classes up 22%.”

These are fairly particular figures; we’ve reached out to Valve for readability on precisely what they imply, however right here’s out greatest understanding within the meantime:

‘new VR customers grew 11%’ – the entire variety of Steam customers which used a VR headset for the primary time in 2021, in comparison with the identical determine in 2020 ‘distinctive play classes grew 22%’ – the entire variety of occasions SteamVR was launched in 2021, in comparison with the identical determine in 2020

Assuming we’ve bought the proper interpretation of the stats, that implies that extra individuals are utilizing VR extra typically on Steam in 2021 than in 2020.

In any given yr that may not be significantly spectacular; in spite of everything, one would hope that VR is rising yr to yr. Nevertheless, it’s vital to keep in mind that Valve launched Half-Life: Alyx in 2020, which introduced an enormous surge of VR utilization on Steam in that yr. It was so successful that Valve stated the sport single-handedly accounted for 39% of income development amongst VR sport gross sales in 2020. That VR utilization on Steam in 2021 nonetheless noticed development regardless of missing a blockbuster VR sport launch makes these numbers a bit extra spectacular.

Valve wasn’t shy about declaring the success of Quest 2 on Steam—which seems to have pushed a lot of the expansion in VR on the platform in 2021—noting that “the most recent main hardware launch, the Oculus Quest 2, makes up greater than a 3rd of VR headsets on Steam,” (although the precise quantity is way nearer to 50%!)

Extra stats revealed by Valve in its 2021 12 months in Overview publish additionally give us a clearer image of the particular variety of VR headsets used on Steam every month—extra on that under.

Month-to-month-connected VR Headsets on Steam

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 using VR headsets.

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

Whereas Valve’s information is a helpful method see which headsets are hottest on Steam, the pattern of monthly-connected headsets is obfuscated as a result of the info is given completely as percentages relative to Steam’s inhabitants—which itself is an unspoken and consistently fluctuating determine.

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

In keeping with the newest information from Valve, VR headsets on Steam reached 2.12% of the Steam viewers in February 2022. And because of new information from Valve’s 2021 12 months in Overview, we’ve been capable of refine our mannequin, giving us an estimate of two.94 million monthly-connected headsets on Steam in February.

VR Customers on Steam Grew by 11% in 2021, Distinctive Play Periods by 22% 9

Previous to the extra information, we had estimated again in January 2022 that there three.four million monthly-connected headsets that month, although with the brand new information we’re refining that estimate right down to 2.93 million (which makes February 2022 the best month of VR headsets on Steam up to now, by a small margin). We additionally refined some earlier estimates in gentle of the brand new information and accordingly eliminated an exponential curve which was included on prior charts (because the R² worth has dropped under zero.9).

In the end we are able to see that the vacation 2021 surge that culminated in January 2022 has lasted into February as effectively, a great signal that new customers are sticking round. For now, anyway.

Share of VR Headsets on Steam

Quest 2 continues to realize floor amongst VR headsets used on Steam, although it slowed down a bit in comparison with the massive stride it took in January. Quest 2 now makes up 47.09% (+1.07%) of monthly-connected VR headsets.

VR Customers on Steam Grew by 11% in 2021, Distinctive Play Periods by 22% 10And despite the fact that Quest 1 dropped to three.83% (−zero.12%), the beneficial properties from Quest 2 imply that each Quest headsets mixed now account for simply over 50% of the headsets on Steam for the primary time.

One other notable transfer amongst Oculus headsets in February was Rift S dropping to 12.14% (−zero.96%); mixed with the loss from Quest 1, because of this share of Meta headsets total in February dropped ever so barely to 67.16% (−zero.09%).

VR Customers on Steam Grew by 11% in 2021, Distinctive Play Periods by 22% 11In the meantime different headset distributors like HTC and WMR dropped in share to 10.97% (−zero.28%) and four.68% (−zero.31%) respectively, whereas Valve gained barely, now at 14.43% (+zero.07%).

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