The HTC Vive has managed to buck a troubling trend from the past few months in the latest Steam hardware survey.
November’s survey results, which Steam users opt into, are now in. They show that the Vive has actually managed to increase its lead over Rift in terms of headset usage on Steam, whereas the past few months have seen the gap shrink. In October Vive held 48.76% of the VR usage on the platform, while Rift held 47.61%, putting just over a percent between the two. In November, Vive’s usage is up to 49.5%, while Rift’s is down to 46.03%.
It’s quite a surprising result that suggests (though in no way confirms) Vive enjoyed an uptick in sales last month. November, of course, holds massive Black Friday sales events, and Vive could be found at many retailers with the same $599.99 price tag, but bundling in the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap which includes integrated headphones and a better overall design (and is worth $100 itself), as well as a pre-order copy of Doom VFR for free. A pre-order copy of Fallout 4 VR was also included, though this deal was running long before Black Friday.
It might be a good deal, but Black Friday also saw the Rift drop to its lowest price yet at $349. It could be that, after such a dramatic drop to $399 earlier in the year, there aren’t many people left to buy Rift in this price bracket, or perhaps the Doom and Fallout names helped push the Vive further this Black Friday.
Also of note is the complete lack of mention of Microsoft’s new Windows-based VR headsets, which launched a preview build of SteamVR support in November.
All that said, it’s important to note that hardware survey results aren’t an entirely dependable way to judge sales of the Vive against the Rift. But, with just a few weeks left in the build-up to Christmas now, we’ll be very interested to see how the needle shifts when we get the first survey results of 2018.