According to SuperData Research, HTC has sold about half a million of its high-end Vive virtual reality systems. For its part, Facebook-owned Oculus has moved in the neighborhood of 300,000 Rifts. And these are expensive devices, running $799 for the Vive, and (currently) $598 for the Rift. With that much money invested, you’d think people would be spending a good deal of time actually using their VR headsets.
But, according to VRLFG.net, which is bringing in live data from Steam–the distribution platform that people use to buy (and use) Vive titles (and in some cases, content for the Rift as well)–usage is really low. In a blog post yesterday on New World Notes, Wagner James Au noted that according to VRLFG.net, the total number of concurrent VR users of content on Steam was less than 2,500. As of this writing, the number stands at 2,203–approximately 0.44% of the total number of Vive owners. The most-used title is Steam developer Valve‘s own The Lab, with just 173 concurrent users. There’s been lots of discussion over the last couple of years about when or whether VR would become a mainstream consumer technology, with lots of people arguing no. And while Samsung’s mobile Gear VR sold more than 6 million units in 2016, per SuperData, sales of the Vive and Rift—the flagships of the VR industry—have not really blown off the doors. And while it’s hard to tell if the data from VRFLG.net is wholly accurate, it will still give those who doubt VR’s potential even more fuel.