Half-Life: Alyx helped lead a large surge of new VR headsets being connected to Steam, according to data from Valve. However, the percentage of Steam users who own VR headsets is still hovering at around 1.9%.
According to a recent hardware survey from Valve, the first since Alyx was released on Steam back in late March, the new Half-Life game convinced a lot of people to buy (or plug in old) VR headsets. Road To VR estimates that over 950,000 new headsets were connected to Steam last month, which according to the site is the largest single-month increase on the platform.
While Alyx is almost certainly responsible for this spike, it is likely that some of these headsets aren’t newly purchased devices. How Valve collects data makes it impossible to figure out too many specifics and makes all the data collected and shared a bit fuzzy.
For one thing, the hardware survey only looks for a connected headset, not that the person is using or has used it recently. Secondly, Valve only reports percentages of their Steam userbase, not specific numbers. Road To VR maintains their own data, based on Valve released numbers and old surveys, that help give us more specific numbers. But these numbers are all estimates, not actual figures. Something to keep in mind.
Also, some folks might be borrowing a headset just to play the game. That’s my current situation.
Still, even after one of the largest spikes in VR usage in Steam history, less than 2% of Steam users are using HMDs. VR is expensive, not viable for everyone, and relies on powerful PC hardware. Thinking about these factors and looking at these numbers, it makes sense why folks are trying to mod Half-Life: Alyx to make it playable without a VR headset.