Steam Deck UI comes to VR

Valve is bringing the Steam Deck UI to VR headsets.

A brochure put in place by Valve to mark the availability of Steam Deck in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong indicates that VR headsets using Steam will “soon” have the Steam Deck UI.

“Soon, the Steam Deck UI will be available on TV-connected PCs and in VR,” the booklet mentions.

Today, PC-powered VR headsets typically use Valve’s SteamVR as the device-independent software platform for accessing games and settings. SteamVR’s interface has evolved slowly from something like Meta’s Quest headset’s monthly release schedule. The last major system interface overhaul came in 2020 with the ability to pin windows to a controller added in 2021. This latest hint from Valve may indicate that the company is closing in on another big SteamVR overhaul. for existing VR headsets on PC, but it will likely form the basis of the standalone “Deckard” reported as well. Code finds, patents, and even comments from Valve employees all point to the idea that Valve could use the groundwork laid with Steam Deck as the basis for a standalone VR headset.

The document released by Valve also serves as an overview of Valve’s technologies and history. Not only does the document describe the evolution of Bellevue-based Valve from a game development company to owner of the world’s dominant games market as well as a hardware manufacturer, but the booklet also highlights the technologies on which Valve has worked. Proton, for example, “makes it possible to play Windows games on Linux devices,” essentially freeing up some gamers to ditch their addiction to Microsoft Windows if they choose. Valve’s work in virtual reality also helped launch the resurgence of modern consumer VR, partnering with HTC for the original Vive in 2016 that brought hand-controlled VR to room scale. to buyers ahead of Facebook’s Oculus Rift. In 2019, the company launched Valve Index into the high end of the consumer PC VR market and the $1,000 PC-powered kit is still a perennial best-seller on Steam alongside the newest laptop. $399+ Steam Deck.

“This is a multi-generational product line,” the document says about Steam Deck. “Valve will support Steam Deck and SteamOS for the foreseeable future. We’ll learn from the Steam community about new uses for our hardware that we haven’t yet thought of, and we’ll build new versions to be even more open and capable than the first version of Steam Deck.

Although Valve is a big company in terms of revenue generated, it is also privately run with an employee count in the hundreds. This sees Valve generally quiet in public while carefully choosing its partners until huge public outings scheduled on “valve time“.