After a months’ break, the gap between the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive narrowed once more in the latest Steam Hardware Survey results.
The Hardware Survey is an optional feature that Steam users take part in that detects what VR headsets they’re using among other features. November’s results saw the gap between the leading Vive and the close-second Rift widen just a little with just over 3% between them. In December’s results, though, things are a little narrower; Vive has 47.26% of total VR usage while Rift at 46.14%, putting just over a percent between the two.
But this shift might not be caused by the result of Rift selling more units than Vive in December; it might be because of a new challenger. December is the first month that we’ve seen Microsoft’s Windows-based ‘Mixed Reality’ VR headsets join the survey as their own segment. The headsets, which include devices from Dell, Samsung, HP, Acer and Lenovo, only occupy 4.35% of the total VR usage, though. Microsoft and Valve released a preview of SteamVR support on these devices late last year.
Funnily enough, the Windows headsets don’t even double the amount of Oculus Rift DK2 units still in use on Steam (2.25%). We’ll be interested to see how they grow in 2018.
Getting back to the Rift/Vive story, Valve actually lists Rift as the most popular VR headset for December, despite the overall usage being higher on Vive. This is the first time Rift has claimed the title, though we’re not exactly sure what constitutes the most popular VR headset, though the survey notes it was in the lead by 0.17%. We’ve reached out to Valve to ask after what this really means.
Overall, though, Vive managed to cling to its lead in 2017. Now we’re at the start of a new year with plenty of new developments ahead of us; are things set for a dramatic shake-up?