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Steam's Big Picture adds support for VR headsets

Valve has added VR support into its Big Picture interface for Steam, just ahead of a two-day developer conference.

Big Picture is an interface for Valve's Steam service that was created for use on TV sets — part of Valve's push for the lounge room gamer.

Oculus at CES 2014. (Credit: Scott Stein/CNET)

Now, just ahead of a two day conference for Steam developers, Big Picture has been given support for VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift.

RockPaperShotgun reports that Valve is expected to show off its own VR hardware at the conference, and Oculus VR representatives will also be present to talk about developing for the Rift family of headsets.

According to a post on the Steam Community forum, users can enable the VR support by doing the following:

As of the most recent Steam Client Beta, Steam now supports an experimental VR mode. If you own an Oculus Rift dev kit you can try it out by starting Steam with "-vr" on the command line. Then press the Big Picture button to enter Big Picture + VR mode. The first time you run you may need to do the following:

  1. Run Steam in the desktop client without the -vr option

  2. Find "SteamVR" under "Tools" in your library. (If you don't have it installed, install it.)

  3. Bring up properties on SteamVR and opt-in to the "Beta Update" beta. Let the update download.

  4. Quit the Steam Client again and start it with -vr

In the wake of CES 2014, VR headsets have had a renewed interest. Oculus held a hands on demonstrations of Crystal Cove, the latest iteration of the Rift with improved resolution and head tracking.