With more blockbuster releases than you can shake a stick at, 2018 was a great year for video gamers in general.
But 2018 was an allegedly great year for VR on Steam.
The latest numbers show that the number of people using Steam and who own virtual reality headsets doubled over the course of 2018.
These numbers bode well for the future of the segment which often draws a lot of naysayers among analysts. A lot of people question the future of VR but the expansion of its user base, coupled with more and more applications being unveiled every day, are doing a lot to tamper this dissent.
One thing that is suspected to be the culprit behind these numbers is the declining prices of headsets across the world.
And, though the numbers aren’t huge, doubling over a year is still a good sign for the segment.
UploadVR reports that the number of Steam users with a virtual reality headset went from .4 percent to .8 percent in 2018. The last membership number reported by Valve for Steam? 125 million.
So, even though .4 to .8 isn’t much, the installed base of 125 million, of which there are 33 million active daily users, really bolsters the optimism that many feel this report brings.
It couldn’t come at a better time, either.
With many looking ahead to next-gen hardware that will be on offer in the VR segment, it is good to know that the way forward is less difficult for manufacturers than many make it out to be.
TechSpot thinks these numbers will only continue to grow because more and more headsets are entering the market every day, with many of them very low in price. Broadening the market through price accessibility is one of the easiest ways for any medium to grow and VR is no exception to this general rule.
Price isn’t the only factor that weighs on VR’s growth – adoption by devs and other hardware manufacturers is needed as well.
Developers and publishers have to see VR as a space in which they can make money, and high-end console manufacturers like Microsoft have to see VR as a pillar of gaming before they will commit.
Sony’s PlayStation VR is a great start for home consoles, but there has to be more before people start getting really excited. For their part, Microsoft has said that VR is being looked into for their next-gen hardware but the company hasn’t delved into specifics.
If the trends towards more cheap headsets continue, you can bet that more and more devs will get on board with VR gaming. Though a relative niche, high-end pursuit currently, VR gaming’s expansion into all corners of the video game audience could be its best bet for securing its future.
We don’t doubt that there will be more high-end headsets in the future, we just expect that the offerings will be more rounded out in terms of pricing which makes VR more available to everyone.