SteamVR 2.0, Valve's virtual reality software, has officially emerged from its month-long beta, showcasing a host of major upgrades to the VR software. This comprehensive revamp promises to infuse a breath of "next-gen" air into the SteamVR's UI, which has looked dated for quite some time.
For those who've used SteamVR on a headset recently, it's clear that the pre-2.0 software was something of a relic. Despite receiving regular bug fixes, it had long outstayed its welcome, and now has finally been revamped.
Everything has changed with the release of SteamVR 2.0, which not only rejuvenates the interface, making it akin to the Steam PC app or the Steam Deck's interface but also significantly improves its user navigation. Easily one of the standout features of the new UI is that you can now easily launch your games with your headset on, without having to swap to your PC.
The specifics of these changes have been largely unchanged from the beta up to the full release. Some of the highlights of SteamVR 2.0 include:
- Integration of most features from Steam and Steam Deck into SteamVR.
- The incorporation of Steam Chat and Voice Chat into SteamVR's UI.
- Improved access to Steam Notifications.
- An improved Store layout that showcases new and popular VR releases.
- An updated keyboard, now with dual-cursor typing support, additional languages, emojis, and themes.
These enhancements transform SteamVR into a seamless extension of the Steam ecosystem, rather than its previous existence as an outdated appendage. Even though the UI still is not the easiest to navigate in VR and could benefit from further streamlining, the release of Steam VR 2.0 marks a huge upgrade for users.
While these updates had sparked speculation about a new hardware release, such announcements remain elusive. Valve's rumored work on a new VR headset, with the current working name of Deckard, is shrouded in mystery with no release date in sight.
In the meantime, the good news is that these updates aren't hardware-exclusive; any headset that's compatible with SteamVR can benefit from the upgrade to 2.0.