Steam Preview For Microsoft VR Headsets Arrives Nov. 15

by Ian Hamilton • November 8th, 2017

Microsoft is planning to make a preview of its SteamVR integration available on Nov. 15.

The preview should make hundreds of VR apps available on Steam playable on headsets from Acer, Lenovo, HP, Dell and Samsung. So far, Microsoft has only offered access to developers through closed access to a Steam app.

We recently reviewed the Acer VR headset and found it lacking in the content department, so this feature could have a huge effect on sales as manufacturers just started shipping headsets to early adopters. Microsoft is launching the feature as a “preview”, which suggests it won’t be finalized and we’ve not heard an official launch date for the finished functionality.

We previously heard from Valve’s how this integration will work:

Microsoft is providing an OpenVR driver that allows SteamVR to automatically identify Windows MR hardware. From a consumer’s experience, this should allow SteamVR titles to ‘just work’ on these devices. On the dev side it is also possible for developers to tune their application for specific aspects of the headsets and/or for the Windows MR controllers.

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  • AmiRami

    Awesome. My Samsung headset will be arriving just in time!

  • Hone McBone

    Great, hopefully we’re seeing the start of OpenVR being the sole SDK in VR.

    • vico4444

      sure, who would buy an Oculus or HTC now ?

      • AmiRami

        Each still has better hand controllers than WMR though.

        • Zomby2D

          And better positional tracking

      • KUKWES

        anyone that is smart

  • wrapter

    good. Depending how my steam games run with the inside out tracking will determine if I take it back or not. I was going to take it back if steamvr wasn’t working this month.

    • This has been one of my concerns in buying one, or even planning to. From the beginning, my stance has been that SteamVR support is a deal-maker and the lack there-of would be a deal killer –at least for me. If tracking were handled outside of games, at a lower level within the SDK so that the player, nor really even the developer really have to consider it, it will revolutionize VR development going forward. And really, now is the time to do that… to build these functions into the SDK and driver-libs, rather than it being a function of the game itself, where each game developer has to program their own tracking code into the game in order to make it work right. This functionality should be part of the drivers or system-libs (on Linux, Unix & Mac based systems) so that it falls on the underlying SDK layer to provide a uniform level of tracking across all VR software that can in turn be adjusted to add in extra features outside of the SDK. This would give all VR games a very capable tracking engine within the SDKs that would simply translate through the driver layer to the hardware. At that point, any 3rd party HMD developer could jump into the fray and have very little to have to do to get their headset working with all existing VR software on a given platform.

      I’m planning on buying a PCVR system of some sort within the next 6 to 18 months, so in the mean time, I’m looking at every possible angle to get the best setup for my cash when I’m finally ready to order my gear. I really like the look of the Samsung headset, as well as Dell’s offering, but I may just as easily go with a Pimax 8K HMD if the price is decent and it’s steam compatible. In the end, a lot is going to come down to how inside-out tracking works with SteamVR games, and how compatible the Pimax is overall. Gameface is also making an HMD that’s supposed to be SteamVR compatible, as well as including a built in standalone Daydream VR subsystem –the device is being pitched as a multiplatform VR kit optimized for VR developers, which I’m considering getting into once I have the gear on-hand… I’ve had quite a few VR ideas lately that I really want to get the tools together and do something with.

      • koenshaku

        If you go Pimax 8k make sure you have at least a GTX 1080 TI.

  • vico4444

    I hope the games will be in a folder this time

  • GmailIsDown

    Revive also works on these windows headsets.