Steam VR Usage Almost Doubled in 2018

AlphaAtlas

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On the surface, Steam's latest hardware survey doesn't look particularly flattering for the VR market, but UploadVR points out that 2018 was a good year for the Steam VR gaming industry. According to the Steam statistics they've been logging, PC VR usage almost doubled in 2018, and 0.8% of Steam users have VR headsets. UploadVR cites the HTC Vive's $100 price cut, a marketing push by Facebook, the mere existence of Windows MR headsets in the market, and a few high profile exclusives as drivers of the growth.

All three major PC VR platforms have contributed to this growth. The Oculus Rift grew by 85%, the HTC Vive grew by 65%, and Windows MR headsets started the year with too few headsets to even register, but is now at 0.07... If the TechCrunch report of a cheaper 'Rift S' with higher resolution & inside-out tracking and leaks of a 135 degree Valve headset with 'Knuckles' controllers are true, we expect PC VR to grow even faster in 2019. Improvements in quality and reductions in price could convince many PC gamers on the fence to pull the trigger, and the constant increase in quality and quantity of apps & games should make their purchase more than worth it.
 
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Closing in on 1% PC VR ownership on Steam is pretty huge. VR isn’t going away... Valve’s VR plans this year should help cement that. Just wish I could forward fast to 5 years from now and nab the latest VR HW and a selection of games...
 

AlphaAtlas

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XViper

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I was on the bandwagon of VR being just a fad. After I watched an NBA game in VR last night, that changed. They need to put more money into having VR at sporting events. I would love a higher res HMD down the line.
 

AlphaAtlas

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I was on the bandwagon of VR being just a fad. After I watched an NBA game in VR last night, that changed. They need to put more money into having VR at sporting events. I would love a higher res HMD down the line.

Yeah. I think racing in particular has tons of potential, as you can film races from the drivers'/cars' perspectives and potentially take the race outside a closed stadium. Shots like this (NSFW) or this for example, would never happen with a helicopter following a race.

I don't think it'll be too long before NFL helmets get wireless cameras. Maybe NBA headbands are next?
 
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Vr may be a niche, but eventually I really think it will be the main staple for how we use computers way way down the line, the main issue is the tech price and use cases currently.
 

ryno9100

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On a similar note, the Oculus Rift just had a permanent $50 price drop across many retailers. I'll be picking one up if I have some left over money from my tax return this year.
 

meme

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3D televisions were always a stupid idea.

The vast majority of what people watch on tv would not benefit from 3D. Why would you want to watch sitcoms or game shows or the news or romantic comedies or soap operas or talk shows in 3D?
 

XViper

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On a similar note, the Oculus Rift just had a permanent $50 price drop across many retailers. I'll be picking one up if I have some left over money from my tax return this year.

It was actually 300 dollars around Christmas. It was a new Rift but it was being sold through eBay. I initially bought one a long time ago when it first came out but sold it. It was around 600 dollars if I'm not mistaken when it debuted. The tracking wasn't that good and had some latency issues making me nauseous most of the time. Bought one this Christmas for 300 and the experience has gotten much better with the touch controllers.
 

griffinhart

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3D televisions were always a stupid idea.

The vast majority of what people watch on tv would not benefit from 3D. Why would you want to watch sitcoms or game shows or the news or romantic comedies or soap operas or talk shows in 3D?
The same is virtually true for VR (pun intended :p ) The vast majority of what people use computers for would not benefit from VR. Why would you watch sitcoms, or game shows, or news etc in VR? Why would you work on an office app, surf the web, check email or make posts on social media in VR?

A lot of games are kinda neat in VR. Flight sims and driving games are exceptional, but other types of games are really just kinda gimmicky and some just don't do well in VR (fast pace FPS games are vomit inducing... Literally)

It's also awkward to use. Fully isolating yourself from your physical environment and not being able to easily interact with the world around you is a pain. Ever try drinking a cup of coffee while you are playing a VR game?

I think VR will always be a niche product. AR has the potential to be something huge, but it has barriers to break through still. For it to be truly useful people can't find it overly obtrusive like Google Glass's cameras and microphones or too geeky or silly looking like Microsoft's HoloLens.

This is coming from someone that owns and uses a Rift. I love X-Plane 11 in VR. As someone with a private pilot cert, It's a super enjoyable experience but often don't want to use the VR set up because of it so awkward.
 

Darunion

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I want vr to be comfy enough and good enough I can work at a computer but feel like I am on a beach or something instead of a crappy office lol.
 

DPI

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3D did not revolutionize TV viewing, that's just a bad comparison.
Only people that haven't actually tried a Vive or Rift would still spew the "it's just another 3DTV" line like something that fell from a horse's rectum. 3DTV always just felt like watching a movie with your eyes crossed - the sense of awe you feel with VR is totally absent and not comparable.

VR is PFM (pure fuckin magic). Seriously, other than mankind curing diseases and maybe flight, nukes, dna mapping/editing and drugs, it's the closest we've come to actual magic.

Even in its current state, VR is beyond the threshold of fooling your brain into feeling like its somewhere else for the most part. The rough parts that still make it obvious there's a disconnect and you're only in a simulation will erode as the tech improves - resolution, latency, FOV, wireless etc. It will continue to evolve ever closer to the feeling of being in a dream.
 
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Darunion

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Only people that haven't actually tried a Vive or Rift would still spew the "it's just another 3DTV" line like something that fell from a horse's rectum. 3DTV always just felt like watching a movie with your eyes crossed - the sense of awe you feel with VR is totally absent and not comparable.

VR is PFM (pure fuckin magic). Seriously, other than mankind curing diseases and maybe flight, nukes and hallucinogens, it's the closest I think we've come to actual magic.

Even in its current state, VR is beyond the threshold of fooling your brain into feeling like its somewhere else for the most part. The rough parts that still make it obvious there's a disconnect and you're only in a simulation will erode as the tech improves - resolution, latency, FOV, wireless etc. It will continue to evolve ever closer to the feeling of being in a dream.

And it isn't for everyone either financially or physically. It would be nice though if people would stop hoping things would fail just because they don't like something. Lots of room for improvement on it but it is nice to be able to do something different from playing the same shooter on the same screen. Not really immersive clicking a mouse and using a keyboard to simulate running around shooting enemies.
 
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mord

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Only people that haven't actually tried a Vive or Rift would still spew the "it's just another 3DTV" line like something that fell from a horse's rectum. 3DTV always just felt like watching a movie with your eyes crossed - the sense of awe you feel with VR is totally absent and not comparable.

VR is PFM (pure fuckin magic). Seriously, other than mankind curing diseases and maybe flight, nukes, dna mapping/editing and drugs, it's the closest we've come to actual magic.

Even in its current state, VR is beyond the threshold of fooling your brain into feeling like its somewhere else for the most part. The rough parts that still make it obvious there's a disconnect and you're only in a simulation will erode as the tech improves - resolution, latency, FOV, wireless etc. It will continue to evolve ever closer to the feeling of being in a dream.

I almost liked your post, but realized in your things close to actual magic you left out sex.
 

gunbust3r

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So you get to the point where you can stomach a mortgage payment for a 2080 tI (or whatever the best card is at the time) I'd say this takes about 4 years (if ever) for a lot of people. At that point you are ready to buy into VR but that's a half mortgage payment... Hey might get to 3% 8 years from now.
 

Jagger100

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So you get to the point where you can stomach a mortgage payment for a 2080 tI (or whatever the best card is at the time) I'd say this takes about 4 years (if ever) for a lot of people. At that point you are ready to buy into VR but that's a half mortgage payment... Hey might get to 3% 8 years from now.

gunbust3r, you seem misinformed. There's no need to get a 2080Ti for VR. For a Rift, the minimum recommended GPU spec is a 970. Sure, better hardware certainly helps, and I'd recommend going for at least a 1070 or 1070Ti, but most halfway decently configured gaming PCs can easily handle driving VR. Granted it still is a bit of coin to get there, but $350 for the Rift isn't all that crazy a price - roughly the equivalent of a gaming console. For those that don't have a capable gaming PC and still want to get into VR, that problem will be solved by the Quest that's coming this Spring.
 
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mord

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So you get to the point where you can stomach a mortgage payment for a 2080 tI (or whatever the best card is at the time) I'd say this takes about 4 years (if ever) for a lot of people. At that point you are ready to buy into VR but that's a half mortgage payment... Hey might get to 3% 8 years from now.


I'm glad my mortgage payment isn't as high as a 2080ti.

I think VR will have more legs than 3D tv. I have a 3D tv. Kinda liked the effect, depending on if the movie really used it or just threw in a couple scenes just for a "Wow look at the actors pausing while a giant robot/Alien/dinousaur chases then to reach for the peaceful fireflies/glowy floaty things surrounding them. Ooo ahhh" moment.

I don't know anyone that ever watched 3d movies more than once a month for long.

Plenty of us use VR a few times a week and have since we bought in.

Is it for everyone? No. My kids play almost exclusively on their phone because it's to much of a bother to play on a pc, xbox, or even their switch.
 

alamox

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deceptive, if only one person had a VR headset in 2016 and another one bought a headset in 2017 that counts as doubled the usage, if one of them gets bored and stops playing in in 2018, but strt playing again , the usage of 2019 would be double that of 2018.
talk about sales, talk about numbers, but this isBS to mask the misery they are in.
someone else needs to make a VR headset with valve's tech, because HTC sucks
 

gunbust3r

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someone else needs to make a VR headset with valve's tech, because HTC sucks

I'd say those someones (was it 8 OEM's?) are a little burned after the train-wreck of HMD's that was Microsoft's attempt to corner the market on VR with their not so mixed reality.
 

tetris42

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People said this about 3D TVs too :p
No offense, but anyone making the comparison of VR to 3D televisions is ignorant. Not stupid, but ignorant. It's a different medium, a different market, they're interacted with in different ways and are meant for different experiences. The only similarities are that they're both new hardware and both are in 3D. Seeing statements like this is like watching someone say because PhysX cards died off, raytracing hardware will too. They're simply not the same thing.

Now is it going to stay a niche market? Very likely. How big a niche that is, is highly debatable. What's clear is it hasn't hit its peak yet, it's a growing niche market that will eventually level out somewhere.
 
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Ocellaris

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No offense, but anyone making the comparison of VR to 3D televisions is ignorant. Not stupid, but ignorant. It's a different medium, a different market, they're interacted with in different ways and are meant for different experiences. The only similarities are that they're both new hardware and both are in 3D. Seeing statements like this is like watching someone say because PhysX cards died off, raytracing hardware will too. They're simply not the same thing.

Now is it going to stay a niche market? Very likely. How big a niche that is, is highly debatable. What's clear is it hasn't hit its peak yet, it's a growing niche market that will eventually level out somewhere.

I have a PSVR, it’s comfortable and works well, however neither myself of my kid can use it for more than about an hour or so at a time. When it works, I think it’s amazing. Until the tech gets about the same size as regular goggles + wireless I don’t see VR taking off. The cord is a pain in the ass and the setup of VR is weird. Also I think most games need an option where you can just take on the goggles at any time and keep playing. I’m looking forward to see where it goes in another two generations.

3D TVs were great as well, but like VR it was inconvenient. Now if 3D TVs worked without glasses and everything was compatible, people would love the shit out of them. This is where I can see both techs similarly dying out because they can’t reach the point of true convenience.
 

FrgMstr

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Played through Rick and Morty start to finish last night on the Vive Pro Wireless. It was a damn fun time.
 
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NickJames

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So you get to the point where you can stomach a mortgage payment for a 2080 tI (or whatever the best card is at the time) I'd say this takes about 4 years (if ever) for a lot of people. At that point you are ready to buy into VR but that's a half mortgage payment... Hey might get to 3% 8 years from now.

Nah I been running every VR game on maximum settings on my Vive Pro(higher resolution) with a 1080TI just fine, I imagine a 1080 will do ok too. I do see it becoming mainstream at some point once more applications are found for VR rather than just gaming. It needs some kind of productivity value like mixed reality displays are made for. Once we reach than level I can see it becoming as common as TV's and cell phones but that's at least 10 years out.
 

Vader1975

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I think this audiance isn’t representative of “mainstream”. The volume of H users that represent the top 1% of gaming computers I suspect is rather high. I was stunned to find out how little penetration SLI actually had in the last 15yrs in the whole gaming market. You compare that to H user sigs during that time we scew reality. I don’t see 60 million dollar titles being made for .05% of the market any time soon.
 

Youn

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deceptive, if only one person had a VR headset in 2016 and another one bought a headset in 2017 that counts as doubled the usage
Just a quick google search found the following, please correct me guys if the numbers are off, Sony seems the most open about their sales numbers while the others are kinda difficult to find:

PSVR, in 2017 sold around 1 million, and now has sold over 3 million
HTV Vive: 2017 = 0.42 million, 2018 = 0.52 million
Oculus Rift: 2017 = 0.243 million, 2018 = 0.34 million
Samsung Gear VR: 2017 = 4.5 million, 2018 = ?
Google Daydream VR: 2017 = 0.26 million, 2018 = ?

but more importantly:
vr-users-on-steam-november-2017-1.png


..not sure how many people use steam but it's more than a few people :)
 

Derangel

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I have a PSVR, it’s comfortable and works well, however neither myself of my kid can use it for more than about an hour or so at a time. When it works, I think it’s amazing. Until the tech gets about the same size as regular goggles + wireless I don’t see VR taking off. The cord is a pain in the ass and the setup of VR is weird. Also I think most games need an option where you can just take on the goggles at any time and keep playing. I’m looking forward to see where it goes in another two generations.

3D TVs were great as well, but like VR it was inconvenient. Now if 3D TVs worked without glasses and everything was compatible, people would love the shit out of them. This is where I can see both techs similarly dying out because they can’t reach the point of true convenience.

Even with the current limitations of VR, the comparison is incredibly stupid. 3D had one really viable use: A handful of shot in 3D movies. Gaming in 3D was neat, but only rarely produced the "it feels so real" effect a well shot 3D movie could. VR has uses far outside of entertainment and its usefulness in professional fields will only improve as the tech evolves. VR is and was always going to be a slow burn tech. However, it isn't going away. It is never going to fully replace traditional forms of entertainment, but its not going to die off either. With games and movies, it will likely always be a niche product. It might become a large niche, but niche it will remain.

Edit: And let's be frank, 3D didn't die because of the glasses. It died because of how utterly short sighted and stupid the movie and TV industries were. If they had played the long game and not tried to shove terrible, half-assed, 3D down everyone's throat for insane prices it might have lasted longer. All the shitty post conversions ruined 3D movies.
 

dgz

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People said this about 3D TVs too :p

3D tv/monitors were crap and were always going to be crap. The whole concept was bullshit on every single level. An obvious technological dead end

The low refresh rates and flickering were never going to work but some morons bought into the whole thing. In fact I do have a "3d vision" monitor but I bought it because it's 120Hz, not the 3d nonsense

VR is nothing like that and has a clear improvement in every direction.
 
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