Amidst the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is looking forward to some respite. And, sometimes involving into virtual reality can help in escaping from reality.
According to a recent report published by UploadVR, April statistics show a spike in SteamVR virtual reality use during April. According to this report, the number of Steam users with a virtual reality headset increased by almost 50%, from 1.29% to 1.91%.
UploadVR stated in their report, ‘1.91% may not sound like a lot, but comparing it to other currently, niche items on the Hardware Survey shows PC VR is off to a great start already. In fact, if the current trend keeps up, within two months we can expect more Steam users will use a VR headset than a 4k primary monitor.’
UploadVR explained many reasons behind this increase in the usage of virtual reality, which is primarily due to the success of Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx. Though it is a great reason for the increase in the number of users, yet the reason is still far from reality.
The most significant reason has got to be the fact that due to the pandemic, the entire month of April was under lockdown and people were quarantined across a large part of the world. During the first half of March, people were still wandering outside, as the case of COVID-19 wasn’t that serious. But, by the start of April, most countries went under lockdown and many went under self-imposed quarantine.
With so many people taking themselves away from going out and companies closing down to stop the pandemic, it is pretty much expected that people would be using a system more throughout the entire month. This could possibly be one of the most reliable reasons for the increase in the use of virtual reality, as many games witnessed record-high numbers, during this period.
However, the awesomeness of Half-Life: Alyx is also a key factor, which cannot be denied at all. Much of the gaming community has been looking forward to a new game in the Half-Life franchise for a long time, and it is pretty evident that many people were purchasing a virtual reality system just for the game only.
It would be pretty interesting to look at the reports for the month of May and witness the growth or decline in the statistics. If the greatness of Half-Life is responsible for the increase, then it would certainly decrease by the end of May, as most of the users would have moved on after the end of the game. However, if the rise in fame is due to the lockdown, the numbers will continue to rise.