Virtual reality’s most popular application, video games, just got a whole lot better. Integrating virtual reality into video games just got a lot easier thanks to integration between the Unity game development platform and Valve’s SteamVR.
Game developers who use Unity gain the capability to build VR experiences more easily, which could translate into more VR game titles available.
But don’t expect to see those VR titles at your local GameStop next week. The SteamVR experience requires special hardware like the HTC Vive, which will go on sale in April. Vive and the SteamVR platform are open-source competitors to the Oculus Rift, which starts shipping March 28.
Valve is the company behind the Steam platform where a lot of games are being hosted now. They announced the integration at the Unity Technologies developers’ conference today. Both companies are among the biggest names in the game development industry but increased competition has surfaced from Oculus and Amazon which announced its own open-source game development platform yesterday.
“Valve and Unity are both dedicated to creating the highest-quality VR experiences possible,” said John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity Technologies. “That means giving developers every possible chance to succeed, and our collaboration with Valve is designed to do just that.”
From a player’s perspective, PCMag’s Will Greenwald found the Vive controller to be very similar to the Oculus Touch and Playstation VR controllers when he did a hands-on test at CES. The Vive system comprises a headset, two single-handed controllers, and two base stations that track their movements.
Valve also announced a rendering plugin for Unity that will simplify the integration and allow for “enhanced fidelity and performance,” according to a release.
The video game industry has never died down and every single year it shows no signs of slowing down. Game developers step up their production every single year with release after release of great game titles with superb and close to real life graphics. Interaction with the games also feel a lot more real and things will be even better once virtual reality comes into play. This will definitely take gaming to a different level and feel.