Oculus Update Lets You Launch SteamVR Apps And Other Third Party Software From Home

by Ian Hamilton • July 26th, 2017

The latest version of Oculus’ PC software, available now in a public testing phase, aims to make it easier to launch content purchased from Steam or acquired elsewhere while remaining inside the Oculus Home interface.

The 1.17 update can be accessed by turning on the beta feature in settings. It looks like this: 

Once the update downloads and restarts you’ll see this screen:

According to a forum post, the update includes the following features and limitations:

  • You can toggle displaying third party app titles “on” and “off” from the Filter menu of the Library in the upper right of the Oculus desktop app
  • You can remove individual apps from your Library (note that this does not uninstall the app; also, at this time, this action can’t be undone)
  • If you are using an app obtained or purchased outside the Oculus Store, your activity will simply display as “Online”
  • Library will still display the five most recently played apps. If you toggle “off” third party apps titles, they will be removed from recent activity

The feature adds the third-party app to the Oculus Home interface when it starts using the Rift — so if you go into Steam and launch an app, afterward it should appear in the Oculus Library. We know because we’ve tested it.

Oculus Rift owners sometimes need to jump back and forth between Steam and Oculus Home to play software purchased from one store or the other. This can be a little frustrating and might even break immersion to exit one interface and enter another. This feature, however, looks like an effort to make Oculus Home a more appealing interface for all software compatible with Rift.

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  • Get Schwifty!

    Nice – never expected to see this myself.

    • Tyler Soward

      Holy smokes. Me neither. Actually went out and bought a Rift a couple weeks ago when they went on super sale since my Vive HMD is currently in RMA. Starting to run out of reasons to keep the Vive to be honest. Just ordered a usb/hdmi cable extension for the headset as well as third sensor. HTC customer support has been less than ideal to work with. Oculus is making a pretty convincing case lately

      • Ryan

        How does the Rift room scale tracking compare?

        • Tyler Soward

          I’ve only had two or three instances where I’ve lost tracking momentarily causing me to die in a game. Although to be fair my current set up is probably less than ideal. Currently my third sensor is off center quite a bit – with either another sensor, or a shelf to mount my third one on (which I’m considering installing) I’m fairly confidant the 360 tracking would be pretty much spot on

          • Ryan

            I was entertaining the idea of switching to Rift, but the tracker camera fov is only 100×75 degrees as compared to 120×120 degrees for lighthouse. Even with three sensors it would be hard/impossible to cover my room wall to wall and floor to ceiling.

          • Tyler Soward

            Yeah that makes sense – there are certain room shapes that the three cameras won’t quite cover correctly – for my set up the space difference is nominal but truth be told I’m looking forward to getting the Vive back online. Will probably keep the Oculus but just use it in the bedroom for seated games / experiences

  • impurekind

    Now THIS I like–a lot! I have a few games I like on SteamVR but I find SteamVR itself a bit crap. And, if launching the games through Oculus Home can maybe also help with making some of them work more reliably on it too, such as the controls being perfectly mapped to the actual Touch controllers and stuff rather than often being more setup for Vive, then that too would be awesome.

    • Mane Vr

      also find out if the game has native oculus support then put “+vrapi Oculus” in your launch option in steam u can then uninstall steamvr and your game will use atw and asw like all oculus home games… now combo with this u never need to leave home no matter where you buy ur games..

  • Tyler Soward

    Definitely a welcome addition!

  • Seems that they’re finally catching onto the fact that the walled garden approach makes everybody hate you.

    • Mane Vr

      more like they figure out how to get their player to stay in home for a longer time if u can now launch all your games from with in home it’s a big win for them. it didn’t say u can shop at steam thru home just that u can launch so it’s still walled off (which I don’t mind at all)

  • dan bryant

    Now all we need is an option to turn off auto boot up on home
    And super sampling options

  • Mane Vr

    I love this idea cause I am not a fan of having to go thru steam to launch Serious sam even tho I don’t use steamvr

  • Robbie Cartwright

    So nice to finally have this option. Got all my Steam games in Home now! Woot! ^^

  • I continue thinking that this is a move by Facebook to prevent Oculus users to use SteamVR Home, which is a great social VR platform.

  • impurekind

    I have the latest update but I can’t seem to find the option that lets me load Steam games from Home. Anyone know why it might now be showing? I have Beta turned on.