Last month saw Epic Games release a preview build of the next major updates for its popular videogame development toolset, Unreal Engine 4. The early edition of Unreal Engine 4.8 featured a host of improvements for those working with the toolset, with one of the highlights being support for Valve’s SteamVR system. Today, Epic Games is releasing the full version of Unreal Engine 4.8, complete with ‘comprehensive’ support for Valve’s upcoming virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD), the HTC Vive, which utilises SteamVR.
The company announced as much on Twitter. “Unreal Engine 4.8 releases today with comprehensive support for Valve’s SteamVR API and HTC Vive hardware!” the message read. The image seen below accompanied the tweet. In a later message, Epic Games confirmed that a link to the download would be shared on its official forums later on in the day. It’s not yet clear just how much this full build will differ from the preview build, though its arrival is certainly timely given that the first developers just started to receive their developer editions of the HTC Vive.
Elsewhere, Unreal Engine 4.8 will also be including support for Oculus VR’s recent software development kits (SDK). That includes the 0.6 SDK for the Oculus Rift, the Oculus Audio SDK and 0.5 for the mobile SDK for use with the Gear VR mobile HMD. It’s a big update for VR developers in general, then, and don’t forget that Unreal Engine 4 also already features support for Sony Computer Entertainment’s VR HMD for PlayStation 4, Project Morpheus. With this update, the engine is better prepared than ever for the arrival of consumer VR later in the year.
Epic Games isn’t the only one to be offering engine updates this week; Unity Technologies also released Unity 5.1, featuring native support for the Oculus Rift, with support for other HMDs such as Gear VR and Microsoft’s HoloLens still to come. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all VR-related updates, reporting back with the latest.