Valve Announces SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode Beta Enabling VR Experiences In Non-VR Games

In the nearly twenty years the company has been in existence, Valve has proven itself to be a master in several key gaming categories. First, it has managed to craft not one, but multiple hit series; the most prominent titles being Half-Life, Team Fortress, and Portal. It's hard not to appreciate the company's spectacular foresight, either. They seem to have a knack for knowing what's going to hit big. Look no further than Dota 2 for proof of that. Beyond that, Valve has also proven itself to be great at the whole gaming platform thing, with Steam becoming the de facto spot for gamers to play, share and get access to top titles.


That's all fine and dandy, but on the press side of things, there's something else Valve has become a master at: sending out emails with just enough information to perk up ears and that's about it. Succinctness is the name of Valve's game here, and in advance of next week's Game Developers Conference, the company has done it again with this super short gem:

SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode is in early beta, and will be showcased at next week's Game Developer Conference in San Francisco. Desktop Theater Mode enables users to play non-VR games with VR systems such as the upcoming HTC Vive and others.

Valve Team Fortress VR Headset
Your guess is as good as ours as to what this feature is going to actually look like. It sounds like gamers will be given a virtual environment to play their non-VR games in, which as a concept might strike some as a bit odd. It sounds similar to what has to be one of the coolest VR ideas ever: a virtual arcade, where you walk around and play a "real" game in front of you. With arcades having died off for the most part long ago, a solution like this could be the best chance we have to experience arcades nowadays, or show the kids what pure gaming nirvana used to look like.

The HotHardware staff will be on hand at GDC next week to check out Valve's new technology first hand and report back. In the meantime, what do you think this solution is going to look like? And for that matter, do you have any VR experiences you want to see become a reality?