Trying The SteamVR Beta On Linux Feels More Like An Early Alpha
The Linux VR Content So Far
With SteamVR for Linux being less than one week old, obviously there isn't a huge collection of VR-enabled titles right now. As of writing, the Steam Store lists 1100 titles as being "VR supported" or 871 titles that are "VR only". Under Linux/SteamOS there are just three VR only titles listed as being supported: Destinations, PITCH-HIT: BASEBALL, and Duck Force. When pulling in "VR supported" titles it lists 60 games in total, but of those that have actually been tested and verified to be working on Linux remains unclear.
The main Linux VR titles right now are Dota 2, the free-to-play Destinations "game", and Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter. Croteam released Serious Sam VR on Thursday for Linux and is currently in beta. We haven't seen Valve's "The Lab" VR title yet for Linux nor any other prominent titles.
In the months ahead we can probably find the rest of Valve's VR portfolio arrive as well as Croteam's other VR projects coming this year but it will be interesting to see what other VR titles get ported to Linux, especially if it means for some titles switching from D3D12 to Vulkan, the inherent Linux porting challenges, and the small size of the Linux VR market...
Linux Gaming's Marketshare Is Small, Linux VR Gaming Is Tiny
Via the Steam Survey and most other methods show the Linux gaming marketshare being at 1~2%, macOS being slightly larger than Linux's gaming marketshare, and Windows taking the rest... So targeting specifically Linux VR among gamers will be a tough sell considering these devices aren't widespread, currently carry hefty price tags, etc.
The most recent Steam Survey shows that of Steam gamers the HTC Vive headset is most popular at 0.23% of all Steam users... Obviously it's too early for any Linux VR stats, but if being very generous and thinking even just a few percent of the 1~2% of the overall Linux gaming marketshare, it's an incredible niche at this point so I am worried about how many Linux VR titles we'll see in the months ahead unless more game studios begin focusing on Vulkan support from the start and that would lower their barrier to properly supporting VR on Linux.