Oculus Rift And HTC Vive On Decline, Steam Study Finds

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Oculus Rift And HTC Vive On Decline, Steam Study Finds

Virtual reality headsets are one of the hot topics of 2016. From Facebook's Oculus Rift to the Nvidia VR Works suite, almost every company has been dying to throw their hat into the VR ring. Even Hideo Kojima has entered the realm of VR technology. But a new study suggests that VR hardware sales may be on the decline among PC users.

Valve's official Steam Hardware & Software Survey for August 2016 revealed that only 0.18% of all surveyed users owned an HTC Vive, with 0.10% using the Oculus Rift. In particular, the Rift saw a sharp decline since its original release in March 2016, with only a 0.01% increase each for the Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift Development Kit 2. The HTC Vive, meanwhile, faced a 0% increase last month, despite its steady hold among Steam virtual reality users.

What accounts for the decrease in VR growth? For one, virtual reality headsets are expensive. The HTC Vive goes for $799 on the Steam store. And that price doesn't even factor in the processing capabilities necessary to build a "VR Ready" machine, which can balloon VR expenses well into the quadruple digits. With a high price tag on VR hardware, it makes sense that the first generation of VR headsets are already starting to decline. The early adopters have already settled in.

Granted, autumn is traditionally a popular time to build new computers, thanks to the discounts that many computer parts experience as new graphics cards and processors are unveiled. The Oculus Rift also plans to hit European and Canadian shelves this month, with Best Buy and the Microsoft Store selling the headset to interested buyers. Its release comes with a wide variety of VR games, including the 30 launch titles that originally came out with the Rift back in late March.

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With a new market on the horizon, could the European and Canadian release rejuvenate sales? Perhaps, but a spike seems likely at best. The gaming world may end up having to wait for the next generation of VR headsets for virtual reality to truly take off.

  • It's not an if to buy a VR headset it's a when for me. Many that have perfectly good gaming PC's at the moment don't quite have the power to run VR. That's a a couple expensive hits.

  • Jolard

    The sad thing is this tech isn't quite ready for the masses. It is FANTASTIC, and I love my Vive, and everyone i have shown it to wants one. But when you start talking about costs, especially to get a PC that can handle it, it immediately turns people off, and it becomes something they will buy "one day".

    Something dramatic could turn this around though. It just needs to start being seen as essential in people's lives. If Facebook succeeds in building a VR Facebook or Social Experience (whatever that looks like) it could go gangbusters. But right now the content is gaming focused, and there aren't that many people who are ready to drop $2000 for a gaming setup.

  • Logic and Reason

    I will be purchasing a Vive soon enough. It brings me great pleasure to hear that the Oculus is tanking in market however. I followed nearly every step of Rift development for years, only to watch them suddenly start engaging in deceptive and greedy practices. After that I swore I would never purchase one, and that I would do my damnest to dissuade anyone who was interested. Now who is laughing?