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SteamVR in August 2022: When the numbers fail

SteamVR in August 2022: When the numbers fail

Update:

Valve comments on the questionable data over the past few months. The company responded to queries from UploadVR as follows:

“The hardware survey sees natural variations in survey response rates from month to month, so some variability in the statistics is to be expected. However, the May/July jumps and extra category in August had us take a deeper look, and we’ve now fixed a few issues with the collection and analysis of data, as well as corrected the August survey results page. We expect to have more accurate results going forward.”

The figures listed below do not change, as they had already been corrected when the article was published. The figures from July, on the other hand, are probably incorrect.

SteamVR in August 2022: When the numbers fail

The latest SteamVR statistics raise an important question: Can it still be trusted?

Valve’s monthly hardware and software survey covers all VR headsets that were connected to PCs with Steam installed at least once during the month in question, and whose users participated in the survey. Among other things, the statistics show the percentage of SteamVR users in the total Steam user base.

The highest recorded value for about a year was 2.31 percent in May of 2021. In May of 2022, this jumped from 1.89 to 3.24 percent, and in July, it even jumped to 6.67 percent! This was quite obviously a mistake, as a sudden increase of this magnitude cannot be explained. In August, this value fell back to a more realistic 2.05 percent.

Assuming that Steam had an average of 132 million monthly active users last year, SteamVR should have around 2.7 million users.

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SteamVR statistics with new errors?

The following statistics show the market shares of VR headset models covered by Steam in July and August 2022. Devices that have less than one percent market share are not listed.

VR users exclusively on Meta platforms and Viveport who have not installed Steam or participated in the Steam data collection are not captured by the statistics, nor are PSVR players and users of Meta Quest 1 & 2 who only use their VR headset standalone. Accordingly, the SteamVR statistics only reflect a small part of the entire virtual reality market.

July 2022 August 2022 Difference
Meta Quest 2 50.32 % 49.25 % + 0.29 %
Valve Index 15.26 % 15.44 % + 0.05 %
Oculus Rift S 9.88 % 11.05 % + 0.53 %
HTC Vive 6.19 % 6.51 % + 0.38 %
Windows Mixed Reality 4.44 % 4.40 % – 0.16 %
Oculus Rift 3.42 % 3.99 % + 0.36 %
Meta Quest 3.54 % 3.17 % – 0.52 %
HTC Vive Pro 1.60 % 1.45 % + 0.01 %
HTC Vive Cosmos 1.49 % 1.33 % + 0.01 %
Pico Neo 3 1.04 % 0.84 % – 0.43 %
SteamVR user base 6.67 % 2.05 % – 0.38 %

A closer look reveals that more errors must have crept into the Steam statistics since the difference does not show up anywhere. That leaves only two possible explanations: Either the August numbers are wrong or the SteamVR in July 2022 numbers were wrong. Reasonable statements about the market development cannot be made this way, of course.

Initially, Valve had listed even stranger August figures (see screenshot at UploadVR) but updated them recently. The doubt about the data remains, however.

PC VR usage at an annual low

How often and intensively SteamVR headsets are used cannot be gathered from the monthly Steam survey. The following statistic, which shows the monthly average of maximum simultaneous SteamVR users, gives a rough idea.

This number reached a new high of 24,000 in January 2022, which fell again in the following months. In August, the statistics recorded approximately 16,000 players, which means that the number of players is roughly at the same level as the previous year and should increase again in the following months due to seasonal factors.