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Steam users aren’t buying as many VR headsets – why?

It seems the uptake in virtual reality headsets is slowing, at least among Steam users.

Valve’s monthly Steam customer survey has revealed that the number of new HTC Vive owners on Steam grew by just 0.3% in July, and was completely flat in August. Similarly, the Oculus Rift grew by 0.3% in July and just 0.1% in August. This trend was first spotted by a Reddit user, and then published by Venture Beat.

According to the survey, just 0.18% of Steam users own a HTC Vive, while 0.1% own an Oculus Rift. Figures from July and August are particularly telling because HTC and Oculus had resolved supply issues by this point, which meant there was no more bottleneck delays for customers.

So what gives? Well, the stalling growth is probably caused by a few different factors. Firstly, most early adopters will have picked up a VR headset by now. These are the people that will have been eagerly waiting for launch, and shelled out cash as soon as they could. As a result, a huge chunk of people interested in VR bought headsets immediately, which means month-on-month growth beyond that initial surge is difficult.

HTC Vive

Another issue is pricing; the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are still the most expensive VR headsets on the market. With cheaper alternatives like PlayStation VR looming on the horizon, many gamers will be hanging onto their cash before taking the plunge.

It’s also worth remembering that virtual reality is still a nascent industry, and there’s a real dearth of content when compared to more traditional alternatives like consoles or generic PC gaming. It’s likely that less eager gamers will hold out until there’s an abundance of quality content. After all, what’s the point in shelling out hundreds of pounds on a VR headset if there’s nothing good to play?

Sony is hosting a press conference tomorrow evening at 20:00 UK time, so we may hear more about PSVR then.

Related: Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive

Watch: Should you buy a VR headset?

Do you own a VR headset yet? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.

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