It’s not always easy gauging the size of the consumer virtual reality (VR) market as companies like Facebook don’t release actual unit sales, instead, going for content revenue milestones. Steam’s monthly Hardware & Software survey does help to fill in a few blanks on the PC VR side. Now, the Steam – 2020 Year in Review has been published offering a better overview of the platforms VR market.
There’s plenty to digest from the mixture of stats SteamVR has now published, such as the 104 million sessions the platform recorded during the year. Or the fact that SteamVR saw 1.7 million first time users. Both of which indicate that demand for PC VR gaming was certainly strong during the past year.
This is further buoyed by SteamVR’s revenue stats, which saw videogame sales increase 32% year-over-year with Valve’s award-winning Half-Life: Alyx contributing an additional 39% on top. No surprise there when it comes to the epic sci-fi adventure. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any further breakdown of sales figures to see how well some of the newest titles had done.
Of those millions of sessions mentioned, the 2020 review does note that more time is being spent in VR. Sessions averaged out around the 32 minute mark which may not sound much but that was “a 30% increase in total playtime” the figures reveal.
When it comes to actual headsets being used the most recent Steam Hardware & Software Survey shows that Oculus Rift S continues to be the most popular choice, whilst the Valve Index and HTC Vive platform are neck and neck. Expect that to change over the course of 2021 with Oculus Quest not far behind thanks to Oculus Link. Although with the furore of Facebook’s login dividing the industry new headsets like the HP Reverb G2 may be more tempting for Steam users who don’t want a Facebook account.
After the release of OpenXR in the summer of 2020 making it easier for developers to support multiple headsets as well as implementing a new Dashboard and other features, expect the experience to be further refined over the coming year.
As further SteamVR updates and announcements are made, VRFocus will let you know.