Half Life Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx boosts VR headsets on Steam to 2m users

The release of Half-Life: Alyx is likely responsible for a jump of roughly 50% in Steam users with a VR headset, according to data from UploadVR.

The Steam Hardware Survey for April 2020 shows that users with a VR headset increased from 1.29% to 1.91%, likely boosted by the March 23rd release of Half-Life: Alyx. While just shy of 2% may still sound like a small group of users, UploadVR predicts that if current trends continue that VR users will outnumber those with a 4K primary monitor.

Valve reported in April last year that Steam had hit 90 million monthly active users. Based on UploadVR estimates that this figure would likely have now reached 100 million, meaning they estimate that 2 million Steam users currently have a VR headset. For reference, in March last year that they had sold 4.2 million Playstation VR systems worldwide.

Of this estimated 2 million headsets, the HTC Vive is by far the most popular, accounting for 26% of all VR devices on Steam, with the Oculus Rift S in second at 22%.

While only accounting for 6% of all VR headsets on Steam, the standalone headset Oculus Quest has seen a significant jump in users. The headset, which brings room-scale VR to those without a gaming PC, saw a 3.14% increase since the previous month’s survey. This is the largest jump in users on any device. UploadVR theorises that while the majority of Oculus Quest owners still don’t own a gaming PC, the social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic may have increased sales of gaming PCs, which could account for this large surge in users on Steam.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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