Epic Games CEO Says HTC Vive Is Handily Outselling Its Oculus Rift Competition By 2:1 Margin

Who is selling the most VR headsets? Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney claims that the HTC Vive is outselling the Oculus Rift by a two-to-one margin. Sweeney offered this speculation in an interview with Glixel’s Chris Suellentrop regarding the future of VR. 

Oculus and HTC have not confirmed these numbers, and Sweeney did not provide a source for his information. Some have estimated that half a million VR headsets have been sold to date. Why would the HTC Vive, however, be outperforming the Oculus Rift?

htc vive headset and controller

According to Sweeney, Oculus’ “walled garden approach” to software is deterring potential consumers. He stated, “When you install the Oculus drivers, by default you can only use the Oculus store. You have to rummage through the menu and turn that off if you want to run Steam. Which everybody does. It’s just alienating and sends the wrong message to developers.” The HTC Vive is currently an open platform, while Oculus’ Head of Content Jason Rubin recently argued that exclusive content “is the only way to viably jump-start the market.”

Ironically, Epic Games is also developing Robo Recall, an Oculus exclusive. Sweeney defended this decision and argued that Epic Games was engaged in relationship of convenience with Oculus. He remarked, “Yes. It’s funded by Oculus. It was a budget that could never be funded just on the basis of sales. So that enabled us to do some cool things. My view is that the Oculus store, which is an awesome store, should run on all PC and VR devices.”

htc vive vr kit

The Oculus Rift could also be trailing behind because it is currently unavailable in China. HTC is incredibly active in the Chinese market and is working to develop VR arcades. The Oculus Rift also does not offer commercial deals, while HTC entices businesses with their Vive Business Edition. To top if off, the Rift was incredibly hard to purchase after its initial launch this past March.

PC gaming dominated the market in 2016, so perhaps 2017 will be a better year for Oculus and VR overall.