Want to know which VR headsets are everyone buying nowadays? Here we examine what are the top 10 most popular VR headsets of 2019 according to sales data.
We’ll be excluding very low-end headsets like the Google Cardboard ($10).
Now, which VR headset has sold the most?
1. Samsung Gear VR
Release Date: November 27, 2015
Units Sold: 5 million as of January 2017
Samsung’s Gear VR offers great value for such a small budget. It has over a thousand apps to try and only requires a phone to use – making it accessible to a large majority of people. For this reason, it has sold over 5 million units as of January 2017 (as confirmed by Tim Baxter, CEO of Samsung North America) and that number has greatly risen since. It is the most popular VR headset apart from the Google Cardboard which is $15.
2. Playstation VR
Release Date: October 2016
Units Sold: 4.2 million as of March 2019
Sony’s Playstation VR headset holds the lead in sales numbers for higher-end headsets with a total of 4.2 million sales as of March 2019, as officially stated by Sony. Being the only console VR headset (apart from the Nintendo Labo which is a gimmicky $40 headset), it’s no surprise that it’s the most popular.
Console VR is a great introduction for beginners into VR because it doesn’t require a powerful PC to run.
3. Oculus Rift
Release Date: March 28, 2016
Price: $349 (discontinued)
Units Sold: Unknown. Oculus seems to be pretty quiet when it comes to sales numbers, but Palmer Luckey, the former CEO of Oculus, took to Twitter to say the Rift and GearVR sold “well over” 10 million units combined. TrendForce estimates Oculus sold a total of 1.6 million units in 2017 & 2018.
The consensus of hardcore VR fans is console VR isn’t nearly as good as PCVR. It’s no surprise to see the rest of this list is dominated by high-end PCVR headsets.
The current most popular PCVR headset is the Oculus Rift. Facebook retired it because they released two newer headsets: The Rift S and the Quest – both are superior in their own ways and only marginally more expensive.
But after being on the market for more than 3 years, it’s still one of the most popular headsets for high-end PC gaming.
It’s more popular than it’s main competitor, the HTC Vive, according to Steam’s Hardware Survey for November 2019:
4. HTC Vive
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Price: $499 (discontinued)
Units Sold: Unknown, but Steam Hardware Survey data suggest it is slightly less popular than the Oculus Rift
The HTC Vive is the main competitor against the Rift. It uses Steam’s lighthouse tracking – one of the best tracking software on the market and is near 100% precise if everything is set up correctly.
Unfortunately, the HTC Vive is no longer on the market, being replaced by the superior HTC Vive Pro and Valve Index.
5. Oculus Quest
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Units Sold: 400,000 as of October 25, 2019
Facebook’s new headset, the Oculus Quest, only recently came out 7 months ago and is already estimated to make over a million sales before this year’s end. They are pushing their marketing hard for Christmas and that is evident from Google Trends:
There’s no doubt that in terms of momentum, the Quest takes the lead over all these other headsets. It is the only high-end gaming headset that is also portable/wireless. On top of that, it now supports Oculus Link, which allows you to connect it to your PC, turning it into a PCVR machine.
6. Oculus Rift S
Release Date: March 20, 2019
Units Sold: Unknown
The Oculus Rift S is an upgraded version of the standard Rift and has only been on the market for less than a year, so it won’t be as popular as the Rift. But as we saw from the Steam Hardware survey, the userbase for the Rift S is under half of the standard Rift.
Now that the Rift is discontinued, this number will continue to rise, although it is certainly being overshadowed by the Oculus Quest.
7. HTC Vive Pro
Release Date: January 8, 2018
Price: $799 + $299 for required accessories
Units Sold: Unknown, but according to Steam’s hardware survey, many fewer people own it than other headsets.
The Vive Pro costs $799 + $299 for the required accessories ($1098 total) and is much more expensive than the standard Vive ($499) which includes two base stations and two controllers. For this reason, it’s no surprise to see that only a small fraction of people use the HTC Vive Pro compared to the standard Vive.
8. Oculus Go
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Units Sold: 2 million units sold as of July 2019 – estimated by SuperData (a Nielson company)
Facebook marketed the Oculus Go as VR Video player – people use it to watch movies, 3D videos, go on tours and talk on vTime. It can handle light gaming experiences such as VR visual novels and more intense games if you own a VR capable PC and buy the Nolo CV-1 cable.
Being one of the cheaper headsets, it’s no surprise it’s one of the top-selling ones.
9. Samsung Odyssey Plus
Release Date: October 22, 2018
Units Sold: Unknown
Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) is a platform created by Microsoft and licensed to various companies producing VR headsets. The most popular one is the Samsung Odyssey Plus.
All the WMR are very similar to each other. The Samsung Odyssey Plus is the best one and also the most expensive. WMR headsets are the cheapest PCVR headsets you can get on the market right now, typically costing around $200-$300.
10. Valve Index
Release Date: June 28, 2019
Units Sold: 46k in the first quarter of its release.
The Valve Index is NOT the most popular headset but given its high price ($1000) and the fact that it was only released to the US & UK, selling 46k units in the first quarter of its release is pretty impressive. As a comparison, the Quest sold 180k units in its first quarter.
Several days ago, Valve announced that the Index is available in 30 other countries, making it accessible to the larger public. Furthermore, demand for the Index has greatly risen after the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx. Most Index packages in the US and Canadian stores are ‘sold out.’
Considering that the Valve Index is extremely expensive and is only meant to reach the most hardcore VR enthusiasts, the sales have been very impressive.