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Valve Partners with Unity to Bring SteamVR Support to Unity Engine

Today sees the Unity Technologies-hosted Vision VR/AR Summit get underway in Hollywood, California. Two days of talks, workshops and more await for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) developers and enthusiasts. The show kicked off with a keynote session that involved names like Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and Unity Technologies CEO himself, John Riccitiello. They were also joined by a rare appearance from Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve, the creator of the SteamVR system seen in the HTC Vive head-mounted display (HMD). In fact, Valve itself had some big Unity Engine news to share today.

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The company has confirmed that it is partnering with Unity Technologies to bring native SteamVR support to the Unity Engine. The new feature is to be added for free for developers using the middleware, and a SteamVR rendering plug in is also being released for ‘enhanced fidelity and performance’ in VR titles.

“We made many of our Vive demos using Unity, and continue to use it today in VR development”, said Newell. “Through that process, and in working with VR developers, we found some opportunities to make Unity even more robust and powerful for us and really want to share those benefits with all VR content creators.”

“Valve and Unity are both dedicated to creating the highest quality VR experiences possible,” said Riccitiello. “That means giving developers every possible chance to succeed, and our collaboration with Valve is designed to do just that.”

Essentially, this will give developers using the Unity Engine to create titles for the HTC Vive a much easier time. The HTC Vive itself will be launching pre-orders later this month before releasing in April 2016.

For the latest on the Vision VR/AR Summit, check back with VRFocus.