Valve’s Steam Year in Review shows PC gaming on the rise — and VR, too

Valve is doing its half as an instance gaming’s progress final 12 months with its Steam 2020 Year in Review report. It contains some reasonably spectacular numbers, like the truth that PC players elevated their playtime by over 50 % final 12 months, and that every month, 2.6 million folks purchased a recreation on Steam for the primary time.

2020 was a tough 12 months, and many of us used gaming as a way to escape from the awfulness of every little thing occurring on the earth — an goal helped by the truth that so many good games have been launched final 12 months. Over half of Americans played video games in 2020, and whereas Steam’s numbers solely characterize the PC (and doesn’t rely video games like Fortnite that seem on rival PC shops), it nonetheless speaks to the truth that PC gaming is not only surviving, however thriving.

The statistics bear out what all of us felt: 2020 was a 12 months for gaming.
Picture: Valve

Along with the additional time spent enjoying and the newcomers to the platform, Steam’s knowledge additionally exhibits that the variety of video games bought grew by 21.4 %, and the platform had as many as 24.8 million folks enjoying directly, setting a brand new report for concurrent gamers for the second time that year.

2020 was additionally the 12 months that Valve’s personal Half-Life: Alyx got here out, which we hoped might finally be a killer app for VR, a recreation that will lastly entice folks to present VR a go. Do Steam’s numbers bear that out? Properly, VR definitely grew, with 1.7 million folks utilizing Steam’s VR interface for the primary time, probably resulting from new headsets popping out to rave opinions, like the Oculus Quest 2. Valve additionally experiences that there was a 71 % enhance in VR gross sales, with Alyx alone making up 39 % of them. Individuals have been enjoying extra in VR as nicely, with playtime going up by 30 %.

Steam’s VR stats are wanting up.
Picture: Valve

Talking of PC video games being performed exterior the normal “mouse and keyboard related to a Home windows machine” mannequin, Valve additionally notes a 66.6 % enhance in recreation classes that have been performed with a controller. Steam additionally notes its work on bringing video games to Linux with its Proton runtime and calls out Dying Stranding and Cyberpunk 2077 as video games that have been out there on the OS quickly after they have been launched on Home windows.

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