The two companies behind the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) consortium have announced that official support for OSVR hardware and software will be added to Steam in a forthcoming update. Razer and Sensics have long been pushing for a more flexible VR ecosystem on PC, and this news represents a big step toward making their goals a reality.
“This is a great milestone for VR, giving users access to more hardware and content and driving Valve’s and OSVR’s shared vision of totally open VR content to everyone,” wrote Christopher Mitchell, Razer’s OSVR lead, in a press release posted to the OSVR forums.
Steam users will soon be able to filter content so that only titles that support OSVR hardware are displayed, according to a report from Tom’s Hardware. An OSVR icon will also be attached to store listing for compatible software, where similar icons denoting Oculus Rift and HTC Vive support are typically placed.
“We are delighted to announce support for OSVR titles,” wrote Augusta Butlin on behalf of Valve. “Steam is an open platform for all developers, and adding support for OSVR further expands the massive content offerings for the millions of gamers on Steam.”
If the OSVR project was ever going to gain real momentum, it was crucial that users had easy access to compatible content. Given the prominence of the Steam storefront in the current PC gaming landscape, it’s easy to see why the consortium chose to work with Valve.
It’s certainly interesting to see Valve commit to OSVR in this way, given the company’s relationship with HTC. Now that several methods of experiencing VR content are available to consumers, it seems that Valve is hedging its bets with regard to which hardware to support.