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Steam data shows VR ownership doubled in 2018 -- to 0.8% of users

Valve's monthly hardware surveys offer a gradual look at hardware trends, but 12 months of data suggest that VR ownership is on the rise.

VR ownership for Steam users nearly doubled in 2018, at least according to a collection of the monthly Steam hardware and software reports released by Valve at the end of each month. Typically, those roundups offer curious eyes a glance at month-to-month trends in OS, VR, and PC component usage, but only data from the most recent month is publicly displayed. 

UploadVR, however, kept track of the monthly results for virtual reality headsets and crunched the numbers to find that, across all VR brands, the percent of Steam users that used a VR headset nearly doubled in 2018. According to that data, just over 0.4 percent of Steam users had a VR headset in January, compared to 0.8 in December.

On a per headset basis, UploadVR’s data shows an 85 percent rise in Oculus Rift users on Steam in 2018 alongside a 65 percent rise in HTC Vive ownership. Windows Mixed Reality headsets saw a boost as well. At the beginning of the year the platform didn’t have enough users to register on the monthly survey. At the close of 2018, .07 percent of Steam users had picked up a Windows Mixed Reality headset.

However, it is worth noting that this data comes with a few caveats. The hardware survey, of course, only offers percentages so it’s difficult to put actual numbers to that growth, but for comparison’s sake, Steam now has as many VR users as it does people running Linux as their operating system.

Additionally, participation in the survey requires Steam users to opt-in, meaning that the sample slice here doesn’t include every single user on Steam. But even taken with a grain of salt, the collective months of data offer an interesting look at how VR faired during last year.

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