Windows Mixed Reality headsets gaining ground on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

Windows Mixed Reality

Steam has just released its December results of its Hardware and Software Survey, and it looks like there’s some good news for the fledgling Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

The results of the survey, which Steam users fill in to share information about the hardware they use, show that Windows Mixed Reality headsets made by the likes of Acer, Dell and Asus are gaining in popularity, more than doubling market share month-on-month.

In November, Windows Mixed Reality headsets were used by 2% of people who own virtual reality headsets, and this increased to 4.4% in December.

This is a promising uptick, though still a fair bit behind the leaders, with the HTC Vive accounting for 47.26% of VR headsets used with Steam, with the Oculus Rift at 47.26%.

December's results of Steam's hardware survey of VR headsets

December's results of Steam's hardware survey of VR headsets

Virtual popularity

While there’s still some way to go until Windows Mixed Reality headsets catch up with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the increase in market share is encouraging, especially as Mixed Reality headsets only went on sale on October 17, 2017.

The lower costs of the headsets (they start at $299, about £225, AU$380) compared to the Vive and Rift could be a big reason for the growing popularity of Windows Mixed Reality, as they offer a lower barrier of entry into virtual reality.

Another big reason for the growth is because on November 15, 2017, SteamVR was made available to Mixed Reality devices, allowing owners to access many virtual reality games in Steam.

According to the MSpoweruser website, 15 of the top 40 virtual reality titles in Steam now support Windows Mixed Reality. While we hope to see that number grow, it’s definitely a good start and will give people who are thinking about buying a Windows Mixed Reality headset confidence that there is already a decent amount of content available.

Could 2018 be the year Windows Mixed Reality headsets really take off? Time will tell, and it will be interesting to see how Vive and Oculus respond to these new challengers.


Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.