One of the big questions surrounding virtual reality gaming is whether the technology will gain enough traction to become mainstream. Previous efforts at VR were never a success, the technology has improved a lot this time around but once of the major issues is that the cost of the hardware (headset + gaming system) is very high and that there are few killer apps.
A couple of years ago there was a 3D glasses fad and now some people are wondering whether VR is going the same way. ExtremeTech reports data from the Valve Steam Hardware Survey suggests the VR market has not seen a lot of growth over the last couple of months. In September, just 0.31 percent of Steam gamers owned a VR headset, which in percentage terms isn't a whole lot more than the two months before.
Steam gives us two pieces of information. First, the market split between the various headsets it tracks (HTC Vive 59.8%, Oculus Rift 30.22%, Oculus Rift DK2 9.98%). Given that the vast majority of gamers of all types have Steam, this suggests the HTC Vive has outsold the Rift roughly 2:1, with a fairly steady group of DK2 owners.
What’s more troubling is the way the VR market hasn’t grown over the past two months. Back in September, data from Steam showed just 0.18% of Steam users as owning a Vive headset, with 0.10% of those users owning an Oculus Rift, TMCNet reported. These figures showed the Vive as having added just 0.3% of Steam users across July and August (Oculus added 0.1% over the same time period).
It's still a bit too early to judge VR but so far the new platform seems to be running into issues to hit the mainstream after the initial early adopter rush.