Steam: Virtual reality’s biggest-ever jump in users happened last month

Photo of Steam: Virtual reality’s biggest-ever jump in users happened last month

Enlarge / If Steam's latest VR hardware stats are any indication, parties like this may very well be happening in your neighborhood. (Yes, we know, most of these models are sporting headsets outside of the SteamVR ecosystem. If you'd like to model for our next VR article's imagery, send your snaps to Aurich Lawson, stat.) (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

How well are virtual reality headsets selling? With most of the sector's major players remaining coy on sales figures, we're left to draw an incomplete picture from various bits of data. This month, at least, we have an intriguing new data point: a burst in PC-VR hardware use, two months in a row.

Valve's gaming marketplace Steam includes an opt-in hardware survey feature, and the results are published as percentages of surveyed users on a monthly basis. You'll find all kinds of data about Steam-connected computers every month, and this includes operating systems, video cards, VR systems, and more. In the latter case, that figure is counted out of all Steam users—as opposed to a less-helpful stat like "70 percent of VR fans prefer Product A, 30 percent Product B."

We were intrigued (but not surprised) to see a jump in connected VR devices for the reported month of December 2019. That's the holiday season, after all, and it's reasonable to expect Santa's deliveries of headsets to affect data.

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