As virtual reality (VR) fans will no doubt know by now, last month saw Steam creator Valve partner with Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC to announce the Vive, a new PC-based head-mounted display (HMD) set to release later in 2015. The kit represents perhaps the most direct competition to Oculus VR and its anticipated HMD. Despite this rivalry now being set in place, Valve is continuing to support Oculus VR hardware with its SteamVR service. This week has seen the company update that service, bringing some new features and fixes to its Oculus Rift support.
SteamVR’s latest update adds direct mode rendering support for Oculus VR devices. It also includes a rendermodel for the Oculus Rift’s second development kit (DK2) and exposes camera transform as a tracked object for displaying in-game. Elsewhere a log message has been added to vrclient.txt when failing to find an interface. In terms of fixes, running starts with Unity have been addressed as has D3D10 shared texture support and ‘positional updates for grid while fading in’. The full list of changes can be seen over on Steam.
Of course, this software isn’t the only part of SteamVR. Valve uses the branding for its contribution to the HTC Vive, which includes a pair of base stations that allow for user-tracking within a space of up to 15 feet by 15 feet. Users are also armed with two motion-tracked controllers to allow for realistic interaction in virtual environments. The kit will be launching as a developer edition for free this spring before launching for consumers in time for the 2015 holiday season. Valve has been working with a handful of indie developers to bring content to the device. A price or specific date for the consumer edition is yet to be announced.
VRFocus will continue to follow Valve, SteamVR and Oculus VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on them.