Valve has reason to celebrate as two Steam records have been broken. Both of which are clearly a testament to the platform and of the rise of digital marketplaces.
Firstly, Steam broke its own record for concurrent users. As announced by SteamDB, Steam has hit a staggering target of 18,537,490 users – and then surpassing this figure. The new record figure is 18,801,944 players. This breaks Steam’s previous record set back in January 2018.
SteamDB does note, however, that;
“Steam has broken its record for most concurrently online users that was [previously] held for two years. Previous record was 18,537,490 users. It’s still increasing!
But there is about 1 million [less] players actually in-game (≈5.8mil vs ≈7mil two years ago)”.
Basically, whilst there may be 18 million people online, not everyone is actually in-game. Regardless, breaking a record is still breaking a record. Despite the issues some people might have with Steam and Valve, you can’t deny the platform’s popularity.
Concurrent Users to VR Headsets
And speaking of popularity. As noted by Road to VR (via PCGamesN), a record number of Steam users connected their VR headsets in December. The new figure stands at 1.3 million. Obviously a lot of people got VR for Christmas!
It’s an interesting figure to come to as the information isn’t as easy to attain as you might think. Even though Valve runs a monthly Steam Hardware Survey, they only take a “statistically significant cross-sample of users”.
Also, the information that Valve gathers and dishes out to the public only ever show VR users as a percentage of the total Steam user base. And as you can see above, those figures are ever-changing.
It’s All Speculative Info, But Still Impressive
So, to rectify this, Road to VR has developed its own method of getting a valid number from Valve’s less than perfect way of dishing out information. The raw number of unique headsets that are powered on and connected to PCs are taken into account. Road to VR then corrects the ever-changing values of Steam users and manages to work out the percentage as an estimated number. This makes a staggering 1,342,000 headsets connected.
It should be noted that this method does not account for how often a headset is used for or marketplaces outside of Steam. Still, the fact of the matter is that VR is, seemingly, finally gaining traction.
With a massive wealth of VR games coming out in the past couple of years, plus the VR-only Half-Life: Alyx coming out in March, this may have had an impact on sales.
Let’s be honest though, anytime someone mentions Half-Life, people are going to take notice. Regardless of the platform.
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ABG’s Senior Editor (News), YouTube content creator/streamer.