Looks like the Oculus Quest 2 is still selling better than the Xbox

Rough graph showing estimated lifetime sales of each current-gen console in Spring 2022
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

VR continues to break records as Meta's Quest 2 headset leads the pack, now eclipsing the 14.8 million units sold mark according to new data provided by the International Data Corporation, or IDC for short. That same report shows that VR sales grew 97% in 2021, with Q1 2022 bringing that number up to a whopping 242% growth.

IDC associate vice president Francisco Jeronimo tweeted the numbers out, highlighting the fact that the headset formerly known as the Oculus Quest 2 is the most successful VR headset in history by quite a wide margin. Comparatively, the next closest best-selling VR headset is the original PSVR, which clocks in at around 6 million units sold to date since its 2016 launch. The Quest 2, by comparison, launched in October 2020.

Looking more broadly at the wider console race — as Meta continually positions the Quest 2 as a console given its standalone nature and excellent library of exclusive titles — the Quest 2 is selling as well as many current-gen consoles, which is a surprising number given the history of VR headsets. Last year, we saw the Quest 2 hit the 10-million-units-sold mark before the Xbox, and, based on the credible information we have from sources like IDC, it appears that the Quest 2 continues to meet-or-beat Xbox sales.

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IDC sales estimates
ConsoleMillions of units sold (lifetime, ending Q4 2021)
Sony PS517.2
Microsoft Xbox Series X|S11.4
Nintendo Switch103.5

IDC’s research director of gaming, eSports and VR/AR, Lewis Ward, provided Android Central with the most up-to-date sales figures that IDC has on the current-gen console race, showing that Xbox Series X|S — that's the combined figure for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles — hit the 11.4 million sold mark at the end of 2021. Based on previous estimates, the Quest 2 sold roughly the same number of units by the same time.

Microsoft enjoyed record earnings for the Xbox Series X|S in its fiscal Q3 2022 — which was at the end of April, despite what Q3 makes it sound like — although the company never offers specific numbers of units sold. IDC told Android Central that it will have more recent data for the Xbox, as well as other consoles, by the end of the month, which will make it easier to directly compare sales between platforms.

Anshel Sag, a senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, says the numbers continue to cement Meta's leadership in the VR space. This is especially true since Apple's long-awaited VR headset still has not been announced, and the PS VR2 isn't expected to debut until Q1 2023 at the earliest. Meanwhile, it's expected that the Quest Pro will launch sometime this year, offering a more premium headset for those willing to pay for the upgrade.

The Quest 2 surrounded by video game controllers

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Sag says it's worth noting that the "PS5 and Xbox Series X continually sold out" during the 2021 Holiday season while Meta seemed to be able to keep shelves stocked with Quest 2 headsets, suggesting that sales numbers for the Xbox Series X|S and PS5 could be artificially low. Still, Sag says "we already knew that the company had hit 10 million units by the Fall of 2021" and that "it would be perfectly reasonable that the company has been able to sell an additional 5 million units since then."

Regardless of whether or not the Quest 2 is actually outpacing the Xbox Series X|S is less important than the fact that a standalone VR headset is keeping up the pace with big-name, popular traditional consoles, as this has never happened in the history of gaming and shows how much VR has grown as its own form of gaming in a short period of time.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu