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Steam ui update

In the past four years, developers have successfully released 4,000 OpenVR games on Steam for various VR headsets.

Recently, Valve announced that they will change the way they provide virtual reality. To support the next generation of VR games and applications, Valve is turning to OpenXR API. This is the opposite of OpenVR, which is used by many games so far.

This means that many new features in SteamVR "will appear on the OpenXR side, not as a new OpenVR API."

OpenXR is an open standard for VR and AR, originally developed in March 2019. It was developed by a group of companies managed by Khronos. There are some familiar faces in the group, such as Facebook, Valve, Microsoft, AMD, Nvidia, HTC, Google, Epic and Unity. The basic idea of the

OpenXR API is that it allows developers to implement universal virtual reality support in their applications and games. This means that, in theory, any future OpenXR application should run in any virtual reality viewer for PCs. Technically speaking, any Android OpenXR application should also run on any standalone headset.

OpenVR is Valve's SteamVR API, only available for PC VR headsets. This means that it is not compatible with Android headsets such as Quest and cannot be used with the Oculus Rift store application due to Facebook policy.

Therefore, applications with Oculus API can only run on Oculus hardware. For developers using custom engines, this means that they must create multiple APIs to be compatible with different headsets. As you can imagine, this can be time consuming for developers.

OpenXR was originally created to allow engineers and developers to target a single non-proprietary SDK. This should help alleviate the challenge of using a single API to create great multi-platform VR experiences.

If you are concerned about OpenVR, Valve has assured people that OpenVR support will not go away. OpenVR applications can still run on existing headsets and even future headsets.

"This is a key advantage of the PC ecosystem, and we intend to fully support existing OpenVR applications."

Valve has been working with engine developers to ensure that the main game engine is OpenXR compatible.

Valve emphasized that Epic has come a long way on OpenXR. Epic recently released Unreal Engine 4.24 with built-in OpenXR support.

Unity also got the latest SteamVR Unity plugin, which is currently in beta, but supports Unity XR for rendering and SteamVR input for controller rendering.

Currently, Facebook's Oculus Quest has prototype support for OpenXR, and Rift is expected to receive support soon.

When it comes to the open source world, Godot and Blender have also started embracing the OpenXR API. It seems that they have also come a long way. Support

OpenXR will now be available in SteamVR Beta, Valve requires developers to test it and provide feedback. In general, some celebrities in the VR industry seem to be pushing OpenXR with all their might, especially now that Valve is putting it into practice.

What do you think about the migration to OpenXR? A lot of time has passed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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