Meta Quest 3 joins top three according to SteamVR survey, still lags behind Quest 2

Meta Quest 3 joins top 3 according to SteamVR survey, still lags behind Quest 2
Meta’s Quest 3  VR headset has been out for approximately six months now and has risen among the SteamVR rankings during that time. What’s interesting however, is that the Valve Index still ranks ever so higher. The Quest 2 remains top dog for now as well.

SteamVR is the VR platform offered by Valve, the company behind popular PC gaming marketplace Steam. Much like Steam, SteamVR is the most used VR platform among PC gamers. Valve is often used as a reference for gauging hardware and software use among PC users because of Steam’s monthly surveys.

Which brings us to March 2024’s results, according to which the Oculus Quest 2 still reigns supreme. The Quest 2 has been the go-to recommendation for anyone new to VR for years, long before it got renamed. It’s affordable, provides excellent visuals for its age, and can also run some titles without a PC.

The Quest 3 climbing up to the top three doesn’t come as a surprise either. Meta did an excellent job with their latest headset, leading to us exclaiming, “now that’s an upgrade!” We found in our review of the Quest 3 that it brought with it improved screens, controllers, and software. Comfort, however, can still do with some tweaking.

Quest 3 poised to surpass Valve Index

In second place is Valve’s own VR headset; the Valve Index HMD (head-mounted display). No surprises here either. The Index was a fantastic headset when it released years ago and still holds up. Many VR gamers claim the Valve Index is more comfortable than the Quest 2 and has better tracking. As such, it retains a soft spot in many people’s hearts.

But here arises an issue for headsets like the Valve Index. These expensive devices are considered premium headsets amongst the community. As in, they’re made for more “serious” gaming sessions with games that feature rich, narrative-driven campaigns instead of a simple game loop. However, the community also claims it’s difficult to find such titles for VR.

Half Life: Alyx - also by Valve - is still often touted as the best “serious” game ever made for VR, and it came out four years ago. The game features crisp, immersive environments and an insane amount of attention to detail to what makes a game a good VR game.

Another example of a serious VR title is Elite Dangerous. It’s a space trucking simulation that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Unlike the action-packed Half Life: Alyx, Elite Dangerous sees players traversing a 1:1 recreation of the Milky Way galaxy. Due to its focus on realism, the game can be slow at times.

So it comes as no surprise that most of today’s VR user base is composed of casual gamers. Thus, headsets like the Valve Index - and similarly priced offerings today - aren’t as popular among consumers. According to the SteamVR rankings, the Valve Index has a 16.68% share, whereas the Quest 3 has 15.03%.

If the Quest 3 can get that close in just six months, it’s safe to say the second spot won’t belong to the Index for long. And this isn’t even counting the Quest users who don’t use SteamVR and stick exclusively to games that can be played on the device.

Fortunately, as VR hardware improves across the board, even budget headsets are providing what was considered a premium VR experience just a few years ago. Case in point, the Meta Quest 3.
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