HTC’s Vive is virtual streets ahead of the Oculus Rift in terms of how well it’s selling, at least according to the outspoken Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games.
Sweeney was interviewed by Glixel (opens in new tab), and while criticizing Oculus for not being open enough in locking things down to just the Oculus Store by default (although you can of course change that setting), he asserted that open VR platforms – like HTC Vive – will win on the virtual reality battlegrounds of the PC.
Sweeney then said: “HTC Vive is outselling Oculus 2-to-1 worldwide. I think that trend will continue.”
There are, of course, no hard numbers here and this is a guesstimate of the overall PC VR scene, but nonetheless it’s a pretty damning picture he’s painting of the Vive dominating in comparison to the Rift.
However, Sweeney does say that when it comes to PC headsets, sales have been just over half a million units roughly, so if two-thirds in favor of HTC’s offering is correct, that means Vive has sold around 340,000 units or so, and Oculus Rift around 170,000.
Cost of VR
It’d be good to get some hard numbers from the manufacturers themselves, of course, but we already know that VR is a costly avenue at the moment, and still a relatively niche gaming pursuit as a result.
At least the good news for Oculus Rift is that back in the autumn of last year its hardware requirements got lowered (thanks to nifty Asynchronous Spacewarp frame-rate smoothing technology), and it’s starting to see a slightly more mainstream pitch with the likes of PC and headset bundles like this one weighing in at the $1,100 mark (around £900, AU$1,470).
Sweeney also said he expected the overall VR headset (not just PC) market to grow by a factor of two, three or four every year, until it reaches saturation point at around 200 million users. There’s still a long way to go until then.
We’ve reached out for comment on these figures to both HTC and Oculus/Facebook, and we’ll update this story with any responses we receive.
Update: Troy Edwards, Director of PR at HTC, told us: "While we can’t comment on sales figures, we believe Sweeney’s comments validate our approach to building an open VR ecosystem for Vive. We are committed to building toolkits such as the new Vive Tracker that let the VR industry create and expand the definition of VR, not lock it down."