Number of VR Gamers Now Surpasses Number of Linux Gamers on Steam
It might not be a major development but last month’s SteamVR data shows there was a symbolic VR usage milestone that was passed in 2019 as pointed out by this Twitter user.
Fun Fact: On Steam, VR is now more popular than Linux (1.31% vs 0.9%), and almost half as popular as macOS (3.01%). That's quite impressive!
Also, Rift (0.4%), Vive (0.35%) and Rift S (0.32%) are each on their own more popular than Ubuntu 18 and 19 combined (0.29%). pic.twitter.com/8T59LPdkHg
— Jashan Chittesh (@jashan) February 13, 2020
Windows still remains the undisputed preferred Operating System for PC gamers with the other OS such as MacOS and Linux trailing behind. The number of users in each of these platforms has fluctuated in the past but Virtual Reality has continued to register steady growth. Currently, the number of VR users on Steam is now double that of Linux users and is almost the same as the number of MacOS users going by SteamVR data.
The VR user data has been obtained from the SteamVR Hardware and Software survey which, it should be pointed out, is an optional survey disseminated to random pools of users. Participation in the survey is also anonymous.
The optional nature of the survey leaves out some of the gamers who opt not to participate in the survey or who fail to fill out all the fields in the survey. The random nature of the survey may not provide a very accurate picture of the whole pool of Steam gamers
Still, the SteamVR data is the most reliable we have so far on hardware usage trends and the statistical signals it gives are interesting to look at if you want to gain some insights about the industry. For example, in the January 2020 SteamVR data, there is a clear surge in overall VR usage and the rate of growth. At the same time, about the time when this survey was taken, we are seeing that some of the leading Virtual Reality headsets such as Valve Index, Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S have all been backordered.
In the January 2020 SteamVR survey, just 0.9% of the respondents stated that they use Linux as their main Operating System. In contrast, some 3.01% reported they use MacOS.
When this compared with other niche Operating System platforms, Virtual Reality gamers accounted for 1.31% of respondents in the survey. This represented a 0.22% rise over the December 2019 numbers and is the highest overall VR usage rate ever recorded so far.
Oculus Rift S registered the largest jump in usage with a 0.11% increase in its user base over the December 2019 stats.
The PC-based Oculus Rift S headset and the standalone Oculus Quest headset are all currently priced at $399. For the consumer market, however, the Oculus Quest currently represents the best value in virtual reality due to its self-contained standalone build.
The SteamVR statistics capture what has been a recent surge in user interest in VR hardware that is driven by, among other factors, the upcoming launch of the Half-Life: Alyx VR hit. Valve promised to publish a deeper analysis of its data in the coming weeks.