Valve Launches SteamVR Beta For Oculus Rift

It’s a matter of days now until Valve’s “Steam Dev Days” developer conference, and a juicy bit of information that the company announced could portend an exciting dev conference, indeed: Steam now supports an experimental VR mode for the Oculus Rift in its Steam Client Beta.

“If you own an Oculus Rift dev kit you can try it out by starting Steam with ‘-vr’ on the command line. Then press the Big Picture button to enter Big Picture + VR mode,” reads a Steam Community post.

Valve Steam Dev Days

The full set of instructions are:

The first time you run you may need to do the following:
1) Run Steam in the desktop client without the -vr option
2) Find "SteamVR" under "Tools" in your library. (If you don't have it installed, install it.)
3) Bring up properties on SteamVR and opt-in to the "Beta Update" beta. Let the update download.
4) Quit the Steam Client again and start it with -vr

There was a bug that prevented the VR mode from working, and Valve patched it, but it still wasn’t working for anyone. There appears to be a workaround that involves setting the Oculus Rift as a secondary extended display, but it’s still buggy. (Hey, it’s a beta.) Valve is working on it, though, and presumably things will be in better shape come Steam Dev Days.

Oculus Rift Crystal Cove
Oculus Rift Crystal Cove

In any case, it’s great to see some VR capabilities for Steam, especially with Oculus Rift’s exciting new “Crystal Cove” dev kit out.