Elite Dev ‘looking into’ SteamVR Controller Support, Won’t Be in Holiday Update

Yesterday it was announced that UK-based studio Frontier Developments would be adding support for the HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) to its popular space simulation experience, Elite: Dangerous. A free update set to arrive this holiday season will integrate the SteamVR device. Of course, the HMD itself is only one small part of the HTC Vive’s appeal, another being its position-tracked controllers. Will these be something that Frontier Developments includes support for in the upcoming update?

Elite Dangerous Mac screenshot

Speaking to VRFocus in an interview that will be published later today, studio programmer Oliver Powell clarified that SteamVR controller support won’t be featured in the free upgrade, but it is something that the team is looking into for a possible further update in the future. “Our initial update will add support for SteamVR’s HTC Vive headset,” Powell stated. “Our SteamVR update doesn’t include support for the SteamVR controllers, but it’s something we’re looking into.”

Powell didn’t mention if future upgrades might also support SteamVR’s Room Scale user-tracking but, given that this is a cockpit-based experience, it’s safe to assume this is not necessary.

Elite: Dangerous launched late last year with full support for the Oculus Rift HMD’s second development kit (DK2). Last month, however, Frontier Developments confirmed that it was halting work on that support as Oculus VR announced that its latest software development kit (SDK), 0.7, would be removing support for titles that were developed using versions 0.5 and earlier, and subsequent SDKs would continue to remove support for earlier ones. As a result, the developer has decided to pick up support for the Oculus Rift once more when a full version of the SDK finally arrives. Oculus VR itself has projected a November release window for that kit.

VRFocus will continue to follow Elite: Dangerous‘ VR support, reporting back with the latest on it.