There’s already limited support for virtual reality headsets with certain Steam games, but this week Valve launched the beta for SteamVR, which lets users explore Big Picture Mode from the inside of a VR headset like the Oculus Rift. Setup is simple enough, though let’s take a moment to emphasize the beta-ness of the release. A quick scan through the comments on Valve’s setup page suggests that lots of users are having trouble getting this to work right. The Valve link above contains only partial setup instructions; you can find a more thorough step-by-step at Road To VR (via Joystiq).
It’s probably not a coincidence that the SteamVR beta launched immediately before Steam Dev Days, a Valve developer conference set to happen in Seattle on January 15-16. The Steam gatekeeper is expected to reveal a prototype of its own VR hardware at the event. There are also a number of VR-related talks on the schedule, including one in which Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey will look at the challenges of porting games into virtual reality. We’ll surely have more to share about the perceived future of virtual reality in gaming once Steam Dev Days kicks off tomorrow.