Valve surprises VR fans with SteamVR 2.0 beta

Valve, the company behind the popular Steam platform and the Valve Index VR headset, has announced the launch of SteamVR 2.0 beta, a major update to its VR interface that brings more of the platform’s core features into VR. The beta is available for users who opt into both the Steam and SteamVR beta branches.

What’s new in SteamVR 2.0 beta?

According to Valve, SteamVR 2.0 beta is the first step towards its goal of bringing all of what’s new on the Steam platform into VR. This includes:

  • Most of the current features of Steam and Steam Deck are now part of SteamVR. This means users can access their Steam library, store, community, chat, voice chat, and more from within VR, without having to switch to desktop mode or use a separate app.
Valve surprises VR fans with SteamVR 2.0 beta
Valve surprises VR fans with SteamVR 2.0 beta
  • Updated keyboard with support for new languages, emojis, and themes. The new keyboard is more responsive and customizable, allowing users to type in different languages, express themselves with emojis, and change the appearance of the keyboard.
  • Improved Store that puts new and popular VR releases front and center. The new Store interface is designed to showcase the best VR games and experiences available on Steam, with curated recommendations, user reviews, and trailers.
  • Integration of Steam Chat and Voice Chat. Users can now communicate with their friends and other players from within VR, using text or voice chat. They can also join or create chat groups, invite friends to play games together, and see who is online or in VR.

How to install SteamVR 2.0 beta?

To try out the new features of SteamVR 2.0 beta, users need to opt into both the Steam beta branch and the SteamVR beta branch. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Steam beta: Open Steam > Click ‘Steam’ in menu bar > Settings > Interface > Client Beta Participation. Set Client Beta Participation to ‘Steam Beta Update’. Steam will restart.
  • SteamVR beta: Open Steam library > right-click SteamVR > Properties > Betas > Beta Participation. Set Beta Participation to ‘beta – SteamVR Beta Update’. Once you close the window, SteamVR will begin updating to the beta branch.

What’s next for SteamVR 2.0?

Valve says that this beta release is just the beginning of SteamVR 2.0’s journey, and that it will have more to share in the coming weeks and months as it collects feedback and works on the features mentioned above. The company also hints that this update might be related to its rumored standalone VR headset, codenamed Deckard, which could be a competitor to Meta’s Quest devices.

Valve says that this beta will give it a chance to work out the kinks as more and more people try it out, and that it will eventually launch SteamVR 2.0 to all users once it is ready.

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