We all know VR is growing. When I heard many kids were asking Santa for a Quest 2 over a PS5 or Xbox Series X, I knew something was up, so I want to write this as a quantitative approach to growth using SideQuest as a proxy for industry growth as a whole.
Trending Up and to the Right
We all have a hunch things are accelerating quickly, but how fast, and how equitably? Looking at the SideQuest data for the last 2 months (since the Quest 2 launch), we should be able to answer those questions. Now my analysis chops died with my budding career as a data scientist, so bear with me as I report numbers and definitely no code (data science as a whole is better for it).
To describe this chart a bit, "Pre-Quest 2" represents download numbers for before the Quest 2 launched. "Post-Quest 2" represents download numbers 2 months after the Quest 2 launched (right around Christmas).
On average, all items saw a ~101% increase in downloads during this time. This includes items with 400,000 downloads, and items with 7 downloads, so let's dig into that a bit.
The Top Dogs
The top 100 items by downloads, including utilities like Virtual Desktop and games like Pavlov: Shack grew by an average of 26%. Virtual Desktop's VR patch was sitting at a healthy 298k downloads before the Quest2 launched, and just 2 short months later, that number has climbed to 448k downloads. That's 50% for anyone following along at home; given Virtual Desktop costs money, that bodes very well for developers, as people have shown they are willing to shell out money.
The Long Tail
Just for fun, we can look at the bottom 100 downloaded apps to see how they fared. These bottom 100 games by downloads ended up with a 38% uptick during this same 2 month period. Not super surprising to see it grow rapidly like that, as a dozen downloads will move the needle significantly, but still good to see the rising tide is lifting all ships.
Given pre-orders were crazy for the Quest 2, I wasn't as blown away as I thought I would be by this exercise, but I think this is still pretty telling. VR is young, and we know that if you had a Quest 1, you're probably getting a Quest 2, and if you are keen on using SideQuest, you've probably been around for a bit and fall into that camp.
As SideQuest grows in popularity, I think we'll see a sort of compounding with new Quest2 owners, who probably don't know about SideQuest yet, getting into SideQuest, and SideQuest also seeing the benefits of the industry as a whole adopting their platform.
In 2 months, we'll do another one of these to see how the Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. Quest 2 sales affect the bottom line for SideQuest, and hopefully for me, a guy who runs a VR news website, it will start to better reflect what is happening with headset sales.