It's been one of the biggest questions in the still nascent consumer virtual reality industry: Just how well are VR systems selling. We already have a sense that lower-end headsets like Samsung's Gear VR are doing pretty well, with the Korean company saying at CES last week that it's sold 5 million units since release in late 2015. But we know little about high-end systems like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
That's why it's a big deal that Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and creator of Unreal Engine—an essential VR development tool—said yesterday that the Vive is outselling the Rift 2-to-1, according to Road To VR. Neither HTC nor Oculus immediately responded to a Fast Company request for comment, and neither company has provided public sales numbers for their platforms, so it's hard to know if Sweeney knows of what he speaks. But one would imagine that he has his finger on the pulse of the industry given Epic's place in the ecosystem, and if so, it's very much worth noting those sales numbers. And why is the Vive theoretically doing so much better than the Rift? It's because Oculus has chosen a walled-garden approach.