What you need to know
- Valve will be dropping OpenVR support in favor of the open-source OpenXR API.
- All 4,000+ OpenVR games on Steam will continue to work as normal, so no fear of losing access to your games.
- OpenXR makes developing for multiple headsets and platforms easier than OpenVR.
When SteamVR first launched some four years ago, it carried the standard for VR development through a development interface known as OpenVR. Despite the name, however, the OpenVR API wasn't actually open-source and, over the years, has received a bit of backlash from various members of the development and enthusiast communities. While SteamVR currently houses a library of over 4,000 OpenVR games, Valve is announcing that it will no longer be supporting OpenVR going forward and will move to the OpenXR platform, instead.
While OpenVR supported all major PC VR headsets, it did so at the expense of a more complicated ecosystem for developers to work with. OpenXR was announced exactly a year ago (almost to the day) and was designed by The Khronos Group to unify the VR world around a single API that developers can work with instead of having to develop for specific headsets. If The Khronos Group sounds familiar, that's because it is the same group behind Vulkan, the popular open-source API that developers have been working with for years to enable their games to work across platforms like PC, console, and mobile alike.
The diagram above, supplied by The Khronos Group, shows how OpenXR simplifies things for developers and will help lower friction in VR development. That's particularly important as we continue to see the rise of Oculus, especially with the success of the Oculus Quest, which now also supports OpenXR. The death of OpenVR began earlier this year when Unity pulled official support for the API, signaling that a huge change was about to begin. This move should help improve what's become quite a fragmented market.
So what does this mean for gamers? If nothing, it means that it'll continue to be easy to choose the VR headset you want without fear of losing out on important releases like Half-Life: Alyx. All of your existing SteamVR games (that have used OpenVR) will continue to work like normal and, going forward, we will continue to see games being made for VR headsets using popular engines like Unreal and Unity, which both officially support OpenXR. The latest Steam beta already has OpenXR support enabled, so if new experiences are released using the OpenXR API, you'll have access to them right away.
Thanks for the tip, Philippe!
Minecraft Dungeons lead talks its next DLC and the future endgame
We talk Minecraft Dungeons’ recent Jungle Awakens DLC, the Creeping Winter expansion, and future endgame plans with game director, Måns Olson.
Fix up your Xbox Elite Controller with these parts
Need some replacement parts for your Xbox One Elite Controller? From new paddles, grips, bumpers, thumbsticks, and more, we have you covered.
Hands-on with Windows 10 build 20161 showcasing the new Start menu
Yesterday, Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 that includes an updated Start menu design with translucent Live Tiles, improvements to Notifications, and behavior changes to things like Tablet Mode and the Taskbar. It's been a while since Microsoft released a build with any surface-level changes, but now it's finally happened, we're back showcasing all the changes on video.
These are the best PC games to keep your kids occupied
Looking for a PC game or a few for your kid(s)? Need a way to keep them engaged with games that you know are good? Look no further than our comprehensive round-up of our favorite family-friendly games on PC.