Today marked the start of Steam Dev Days — a developer-only conference in Seattle — and although press is not allowed on the show floor, some major news has leaked via Twitter updates. Of these limited updates, one stands out as being particularly significant:
“We have over 1000 new VR users on Steam every day”#SteamDevDays
— Oshry @ SteamDevDays (@DaveOshry) October 12, 2016
According to the above tweet, issued by a developer attending the conference, Steam is adding 1,000 new VR users each and every day on its Steam software distribution platform. This is major news for the immersive industry as actual numbers concerning the growth of its market are being played very close to the chest by the major headset manufacturers.
1,000 new VR users every day seems like a huge proclamation, but the terminology here is ambiguous at best. What exactly a “VR user” is remains unclear. Are these people with the Valve-created Vive VR headset? Or are these users that also enjoy their experiences on its competitor, the Oculus Rift? It’s probably both, since both are compatible with Steam.
The complex analytics of Steam could demand an entire post on its own, but the bottom line is that the VR scene is growing. The most important word in these tweets is “new.” New users are coming into the ecosystem every 24 hours, according to Valve, and that should be an encouraging sign to those watching this industry.
A second tweet from the conference confirms the first’s content while also providing another nugget of information.
VR stats on the Steam platform:
600 VR apps
+1000 new VR users each day
— Darshan@SteamDevDays (@DShankar) October 12, 2016
Reportedly, Steam now has at least 600 VR apps on the platform. This edges just past Oculus, which announced that its platform, the Oculus Store, has “500+” experiences at Oculus Connect 3 just last week.
It was never really a question on whether or not VR would become popular, just how long it would take. And if Valve’s data is any indication, that mass-adoption is coming sooner rather than later.