HTC Vive Outpaces Oculus Rift
January 13, 201
from the fifth annual Game Developers Conference State of the Industry
Survey are in, revealing trends in the games industry based on the
feedback of more than 4,500 game developers ahead of GDC 2017 in
February and March.
The survey has revealed that game developers are feeling optimistic
about Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console, and are unsure about the
prospects of mid-cycle console refreshes like the PlayStation 4 Pro and
Xbox’s “Project Scorpio.”
On the VR front, game developer interest has shifted from the Oculus
Rift to the HTC Vive, which is now the most popular VR platform to make
games for. Ten percent of VR game developers say they’re working on a
game that’s exclusive (on an either timed or permanent basis) to one VR
platform — and the majority of them are for the Vive.
The 2017 State of the Industry Survey is the fifth entry in the ongoing
series of yearly reports and serves as a snapshot of the games industry
and illustrates industry trends ahead of GDC in San Francisco. Organized
by the UBM Tech Game Network, GDC 2017 takes place February 27th through
March 3rd at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.
Game makers are feeling optimistic about Nintendo’s new Switch console
Nintendo is expected to release its hybrid portable/home console, the
Switch, next month, and the game makers we surveyed seem cautiously
optimistic about the platform’s chances.
When polled about whether or not they thought the Switch would outsell
Nintendo’s Wii U (which has an install base of roughly 13 million,
worldwide) in its lifetime, 50 percent said yes, the Switch will
outperform the Wii U. 14 percent predicted it wouldn’t, and 37 percent
admitted they had no idea.
The Switch’s ability to…switch between a portable mode and a docked home
console mode is the console’s core selling point, but survey respondents
seem unsure about whether that feature will resonate with the public. 48
percent said they thought it might, but that it doesn’t seem to be
world-changing, while 19 percent said yes, the Switch is the right
product for the right time.
11 percent figured people wouldn’t be interested in the core premise of
the Switch, and 23 percent said they didn’t know how it would be
received upon launch.
Most game makers are unsure about mid-cycle console refreshes (PS4
Pro/Project Scorpio), but more are positive than negative
When asked whether or not they thought the prospect of mid-cycle console
refreshes (in the form of the more powerful PS4 Pro and “Project
Scorpio” Xbox) were good for the game industry, 41 percent of survey
respondents were undecided, 36 percent said they were neutral on the
subject, and 18 percent said they thought it was a good thing for the
industry. Just 5 percent said it was a negative development.
“The consoles did need reinvigoration due to their low performing specs
compared to what PCs were capable of at launch,” wrote one respondent.
“Although, I do not want the markets to be divided. I also do not want
the eventuality of a yearly release of a new console as I believe this
could damage the console market severely.”
“Consoles have benefited from being fixed platforms, single specs to
focus on. This mid-cycle ‘refresh’ breaks that benefit,” wrote another.
“Developers will now either need to build two games, release a lowest
common denominator on the more powerful platform, or release a
compromised version on the lower-powered platform.”
HTC Vive outpaces Oculus Rift to become most popular VR/AR platform
The majority of those surveyed (61 percent) aren’t currently involved in
developing games for VR headsets, but those that are are focusing on HTC
and Valve’s Vive headset above any other platform. When asked which VR/AR
platforms they were currently making games for, 24 percent of
respondents said Vive, 23 percent said Oculus Rift and 13 percent said
That’s a significant shift from last year, when 19 percent answered the
same question with Oculus Rift, while the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR
garnered 6 percent each.
This was the year that all these headsets hit retail store shelves, so
for the first time ever we asked State of the Industry survey
respondents on what platform they shipped their last VR game on. Most
(75 percent) said they hadn’t been involved in shipping any VR game
(yet), while 11 percent said they’d shipped their last VR game on the
Oculus Rift. Ten percent said their last completed VR game was released
for the HTC Vive, and 6 percent said Samsung’s Gear VR headset.
Looking ahead, we asked those surveyed which VR/AR platforms they
expected their next game (the one after the one they’re working on now)
would be released on. Here again, the HTC Vive won the greatest share of
interest, with 40 percent of respondents saying they expected their next
project would come to Vive.
37 percent said their next game would release on the Oculus Rift, and 26
percent said PlayStation VR.
1 in 10 game makers is working on a platform-exclusive VR/AR game,
predominantly for the Vive
Of course, the conversation around platform exclusives (timed or
otherwise) in the VR game industry has been heating up recently, so we
thought it would be interesting to ask survey respondents whether their
next VR/AR game was being developed exclusively for a single platform.
Half of respondents said they weren’t involved in VR/AR game dev, while
39 percent said no, their next project would not be exclusive to a
single VR/AR platform. 11 percent of survey respondents said yes, their
next game would be exclusive to one VR/AR platform or device.
Thirty-three percent of survey respondents who said their next project
would be a platform-exclusive VR/AR game said they were creating it for
the HTC Vive, making it the most popular VR system for exclusives.
24 percent of respondents said their next game would be exclusive to the
Oculus Rift, and 15 percent said their next project would be a
PlayStation VR exclusive.
is trumping other VR/AR platforms in terms of dev interest
We tried to gauge the general interest levels for each major VR/AR
headset among our survey respondents, and the HTC Vive again won out:
When asked to mark down the VR/AR platforms most interesting to them as
developers, 45 percent marked Vive. 30 percent said Oculus Rift, and 29
percent marked PlayStation VR. Microsoft’s HoloLens headset came in a
close fourth, as it was marked by 24 percent of respondents.
When compared against last year’s results for the same question, we
again saw a shift away from Rift and towards the Vive. When we asked
last year’s survey respondents which VR/AR platforms most interested
them, 40 percent said Oculus Rift; 26 percent said HTC Vive, and 26
percent said PlayStation VR. 25 percent said HoloLens.