Jan-Peter Ewert of Valve Talks SteamVR

Speaking at the White Nights in St Petersburg festival, Ewert discussed Steam VR and the need for new Steam tools.

Steam is probably the most well-known digital distributions platform for videogames in the world. It has a vast audience, and for years has held a commanding position in the videogame market. It is not above criticism, however, and Jan-Peter Ewert of Valve addressed some concerns during his presentation at the Business Conference for Games Industry event in Russia.

The Business Conference for Games Industry forms part of the wider St Petersburg White Nights festival, an event largely devoted towards the arts. Ewert took to the stage to deliver a presentation on Steam and how it offering more to developers and audiences than ever before.

Image via: Michael Kuzmin,

Part of the presentation concerned virtual reality (VR), where Ewert emphasised the support provided for all major PC-based VR headsets that the Steam platform provided, including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality devices. Also mentioned was ‘Support for all future SteamVR headsets’. There has already been considerable speculation into what Valve are already working on with regards to next-generation headsets.

Another point of interest to VR enthusiasts was the statistic included in the presentation which showed a 160% year-over-year increase in Monthly active VR users on Steam, pointing towards the continued growth of the VR audience.

The presentation also confirmed that Valve were working on new Base Stations and Controllers. Whether this is in reference to the Knuckles Vive controllers, which are just being rolled out to developer partners, or if this concerns another device is unknown at this stage.

One question from the audience that got a lot of focus game from Russian independent developer Michael Kuzmin, who asked about Steam Spy, and if Valve were considering providing an official alternative.

Steam Knuckles Controller

Ewert replied that Steam Spy, while useful for many developers, could provide somewhat misleading data and Valve thought that developers deserved better tools, which is what they are currently working on.

As always, VRFocus will continue to provide the latest information from the VR industry.

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