Valve has quietly added official virtual reality support to the Steam Client itself, with a new option enabling tweaks to the application's interface that make it more navigable for users wearing an Oculus Rift head-mounted display.
The VR-tailored interface is essentially just big picture mode, but when viewed through an Oculus Rift device will appear as an enveloping curved screen that the user can look around using head-tracking.
A community post
from Valve's Joe Ludwig describes how the command line parameter --vr enables the new mode, however VR blog roadtovr has some more specific directions for Oculus Rift devkit users, as well as the demonstration video below.
- Go to “Library”, “Tools”, and download SteamVR
- Opt into SteamVR Beta. Make sure it’s up-to-date
- Set Steam to start in Big Picture mode.
- Create a shortcut to Steam and add -vr to the launch options
- IMPORTANT: Set the Rift as an extended monitor and make sure it’s the secondary.
- Start Steam using your modified shortcut.
The news comes on the day before Valve's Steam Dev Days developer only conference, where the studio is expected to have a heavy focus on its various VR pursuits, including a VR SDK expected to help standardise some of the ways that games interface with virtual reality devices.