With Steam announcing its OpenVR SDK today, it’s exciting to see games engines jumping in to support the new hardware. Epic Games announced today that v. 4.8 of their popular Unreal Engine would be coming next week with support for the HTC Vive and SteamVR.
Unreal Engine will be the first engine to support the SteamVR platform, beating Unity and Crytek to the punch. Says Valve’s Gabe Newell, “Epic is once again taking a leadership position in the technology solution space by embracing the industry-wide momentum toward VR. With SteamVR integrated into its engine tech, Epic is making it that much easier for Unreal Engine developers to be successful.”
In addition to announcing support for the Vive within the engine, Epic Games also has ported it’s now VR-famous Showdown experience as well as the incredible Thief in the Shadows experience for The Hobbit to the Vive. I can only imagine how ‘Epic’ either of those scenes would be with room scale tracking added – maybe they finally let you interact with the damn helmet. Tim Sweeney, Epic’s Founder and CEO, obviously thinks it would be epic as well,“There is a magical sense of immersion in walking around a VR space and directly interacting with it.”
This should all come as great, if not expected, news for the VR development community. With HTC’s Vive currently slated to be the first consumer ready VR headset coming to market, developers need to begin working quickly to port their experiences to the new room scale experience, and this gives them that chance.
Now that the dust has settled after GDC, here’s what we know about the Vive VR Lighthouse Tracking System