Over the past few months Valve’s Steam Hardware and Software Survey has shown the Oculus Rift catching up to its biggest competitor, the HTC Vive, in terms of usage. As of October 2017, it appears the two are almost neck-and-neck.
Vive now has 48.76% of the total VR usage on Steam, down from 50.16% last month. Rift, meanwhile, is up to 47.61%, a small increase over last months 46.87%. That means there’s now just over a percent between the two. Biting your fingernails, yet?
Rift’s uptick is largely attributed to this summer’s sale, which saw the VR headset drop to $399, a good $400 cheaper than Vive at the time. Vive later dropped down to $599 to help combat this, but at Oculus Connect 4 last month, Rift made its $399 price point permanent. It’s an aggressive move for Facebook’s Oculus; could it mean we see Rift overtake Vive in next month’s survey?
While it’s certainly possible, Vive has a strong month of releases ahead of it, including LA Noire: The VR Case Files, while anyone that picks up a headset in November will also get a free copy of Bethesda’s Fallout 4 when it launches in December (which, notably, isn’t getting official Rift support just yet).
As always, we have to stress that these figures don’t give us a definitive means to telling which company has sold more headsets. It obviously doesn’t account for VR owners that haven’t used their headset on Steam in the past month, or Oculus owners that don’t have Steam. Participation in the survey is also optional, so not every Rift/Vive using Steam will be accounted for. Still, given just how popular and open the SteamVR platform is, it’s a good indicator of the current VR trends.