Exciting news for VR enthusiasts! Valve has recently introduced the beta version of SteamVR 2.0. This software serves as the backbone for the complete virtual reality experience on Steam, encompassing everything from connecting to hardware devices to the interface that allows you to navigate through virtual worlds. The latest update brings a plethora of new features to enhance your VR experience.
A representative from Steam announces, "Today, we are releasing SteamVR 2.0 in beta. We consider this a significant milestone towards achieving our objective of incorporating all the latest features from the Steam platform into virtual reality."
The beta release today includes several additions and enhancements. These include the integration of Steam Chat and Voice Chat, an improved Steam store that prominently features VR content, and an updated keyboard. Additionally, the release incorporates "most of" the existing features from Steam and Steam Deck. This is particularly significant, considering the substantial improvements made to both Steam and Steam Deck since the launch of the Steam Deck, with notable enhancements to the big picture mode.
Valve has stated that today's updates mark just the initial stage of the journey for SteamVR 2.0. They have expressed that there will be "more to share in the coming weeks and months." Once they have gathered feedback and addressed any issues that may arise, a full release can be expected, allowing everyone to experience and test it out.
Everyone with a VR headset, that is.
Valve's recent surge of activity with SteamVR raises an important question: Is all of this solely intended for the Valve Index, which has been around for four years?
It appears highly improbable that the Valve Index is the main driving force behind SteamVR 2.0. Instead, there are speculations suggesting that Valve is preparing for a next-generation VR headset, rumored to be called Deckard.
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Some individuals interpreted the recent surge of activity surrounding SteamVR as a potential indication of an upcoming release of a new VR headset by Valve. While this speculation may still hold true, the beta release of SteamVR 2.0 implies that there are ongoing adjustments and refinements being made to establish a solid foundation for any potential headset before its official launch.
However, we currently lack precise confirmation regarding Valve's plans for a next-generation headset, particularly in terms of a concrete release date.
In the meantime, the SteamVR 2.0 upgrades are expected to bring benefits to owners of the Valve Index, as well as any VR headset compatible with SteamVR. This includes devices like the Meta Quest 2, and it can be assumed that the upcoming Meta Quest 3 will also be supported.
If you wish to experience the new SteamVR beta, you can find instructions on how to do so on the Steam website. Additionally, you will need to enroll in the Steam Client beta in order to ensure everything functions properly.