Windows Mixed Reality is gaining ground on SteamVR, doubling its share in December to 4.4 percent

In its first month, Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) managed to claim 4.4 percent market share on SteamVR, competing against headsets that have been available for many years more.

The data comes from Steam's owner, Valve, who performs regular hardware surveys to showcase the hardware landscape across its sizeable game and software distribution platform.

Overall, the VR landscape on Steam remains dominated by HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which claim almost half of the market each. Oculus Rift usage edged out the HTC Vive slightly, however, despite HTC Vive being partnered directly with Valve. The Oculus Rift's permanent price cut back in October 2017 no doubt helped it win over some sales this holiday season.

Windows Mixed Reality ownership more than doubled between November in December, up from 2 percent. I would argue that Windows Mixed Reality is still in a "soft launch" state, with little marketing, few big-name apps and games on the Microsoft Store, and with SteamVR in early access. As noted by RoadToVR, as Microsoft's SteamVR to WMR bridge reaches maturity and a public release, it's fair to expect decent growth for Microsoft's fledgling VR platform.

WMR on a monitor

WMR on a monitor (Image credit: Windows Central)

I always thought VR was a little bit silly having tried PSVR and Oculus Rift previously, it was HP's Windows Mixed Reality headset that made me a believer in the tech, as Windows goes further than other headsets to eliminate the divide between gaming and your actual PC.

Windows Mixed Reality headsets can be purchased for as little as $399 with motion controllers, and do not require external sensors or complex setups to create a sense of scale. Even if you're not convinced at this early stage, it's well worth keeping an eye on how this platform develops.

Windows Mixed Reality headset specs compared

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • I'm a HUGE VR fan myself but I think I'm gonna pass on Mixed Reality. This is yet another Microsoft product that I had been waiting for but I think I've lost faith in the company. For now my PS4 is my only source for VR. But after having fallen head over heels in love with the Nintendo Switch, I'm ready to ditch the PlayStation. After I play through the Sony exclusive Spiderman game and the Holy Grail of my youth, Shenmue 3, I'm probably going sell my PS4 and get my VR fix through the standalone HTC Vive Focus.
  • Well... if you are a game programmer...
    In term of things-you-can-do-with-the-device is PSVR < Oculus / Vive / msMR < msAR.
    If msMR gain spatial mapping ability like msAR... (without it, msMR is just the same as Vive & Oculus) he sorting will then become PSVR < Oculus / Vive < msMR < msAR. * msMR is easier to setup than Vive / Oculus tho. I'm not a VR fan for home tbh, too many limitations, not suitable for arcade either. Perfect fit for amusement park tho.
  • Used it in amusement parks (Thorpe Park) and can truly say it's underwhelming compared to a real roller coaster. They are too interested in getting the queue moving along so lenses are dirty, headsets are smelly making an overall bad experience.
  • That's not an issue with the device. That's using it in an atypically heavy manner with horrible maintenance.
  • Still waiting for my Dell headset....been waiting for a month now, they keep postponing the shipping date:-/....
  • I bought the Lenovo headset when Microsoft was selling them for $199.  Loving it so far;  works great with native WMR apps from the store, and also works well with SteamVR games; though I've had a bit of lag with some.  (Biggest issue there is that I've only got a GTX 1050 Ti which is below spec for a number of games; the SteamVR test app indicated that it could be an issue.)  I haven't tried it yet, but there's a tool (LibreVR/Revive) meant to allow HTC Vive useres access to Occulus games through SteamVR.  According to a video I saw on YouTube, that also works with the WMR headsets, so basically, these things can play games from all the major VR platforms except PSVR.
  • The issues with the wmr headsets is the IPD. Only goes to 67 where a lot of users are in the 70 to 75 area. Cut too many corners... Total screw up
  • It is extremely buggy for me. Project Cars 2 hard freezes 98% of the time and progress is lost.