Almost 1 million new people had a VR headset after Half-Life: Alyx launched

Half-Life: Alyx artwork
(Image credit: Valve)

April was a big month for VR, it appears, with Steam's Hardware Survey turning up some 950,000 more VR headsets than the prior month. This record jump follows the release of Half-Life: Alyx, a shooter which is perhaps the highest-profile release to date on a VR platform. According to industry trend-watcher Road to VR, this means some 2.7 million people, or 1.91% of Steam users, had VR headsets on Steam in April. This number reflects the number of "monthly-connected headsets" on Steam, that is, the amount of VR headsets Steam noticed were attached to a Steam account while it was online. It doesn't necessarily reflect actual usage. 

Road to VR did the math required to translate the numbers from percentages, comparing them to previous hardware surveys and Steam subscriber numbers. They also compared these numbers to adoption of other niche hardware and software on Steam. Linux, for example, pops up on only 0.89% of machines surveyed, while 7.2% of hardware was running an 8+ Core CPU. 

The Steam Hardware Survey is often a bellwether for gaming industry trends as it's the largest single survey of hardware among PC gamers. Trends like last year's rise of AMD processors were evident from the Hardware Survey's results. This jump in VR adoption was pretty predictable, if unexpectedly high, following last month's jump.

If the news has you considering VR, consider checking out our guide to the best VR headsets.

Thanks, Road to VR.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.