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Palmer Luckey Responds to Reports on VR Steam Sales ‘Flatlining’

If you’ve failed to miss it this week Steam released its monthly hardware and software survey and in terms of virtual reality (VR) specs the figures haven’t looked particularly good. This has meant that the VR naysayers have piped up commenting that the VR bubble has burst or that the mainstream push hasn’t worked. But Palmer Luckey founder of Oculus has taken to Twitter to say otherwise.

In his posting Luckey states: “So much clickbait about Rift/VR sales “flatlining” or “crashing” based on the Steam user hardware survey. Not how the data works, guys.

“The fraction of Steam users who use their headset with Steam, opt to take the survey, and have their VR headset connected when they do.

“Vast majority of VR market never touches that survey.”

Palmer Luckey, Founder at Oculus

While its natural that Luckey would defend the statistics from the Steam survey, the figures are no way indicative of the current VR consumer market in relation to the majority of hardware and software sales.

The survey is purely optional for one and while Steam does have a multitude of titles that support Oculus Rift, Oculus Home is likely the first port of call for most owners buying software. The HTC Vive is marginally higher than its rival but its going to be Steam is the main hub for all Vive software. Also worth noting is that the summer period is usually the quietest for the videogame market, as manufacturers and developers get ready for the festive season. You only need to look at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE’s) launch line-up of PlayStation 4 Slim (September), PlayStation VR (October) and PlayStation 4 Pro (November) to see that.

If you’ve not seen the figures they show that 0.18 percent of Steam users own a HTC Vive, while its 0.10 percent for Oculus Rift in August. HTC Vive owners grew 0.3 percent in July while August was flat. The Oculus Rift was similar with 0.3 percent growth in July and 0.1 percent in August.

One of the main reasons people could be looking at the figures so intently is that neither Oculus/Facebook or Valve/HTC has released actual sales figures for their headsets. So no one outside of the respective companies really knows how many VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) have actually hit the market.

As further details are revealed on the subject, VRFocus will keep you updated.