Valve has launched its much-awaited SteamVR 2.0 update, following a one-month beta testing period in September. While it’s unclear whether the company is laying the groundwork for a new virtual reality headset, the update brings a complete overhaul to the user interface, in a way that matches the current Steam Big Picture mode. The store prioritises new and major VR releases at the top, in addition to making it easy to navigate through a consistent experience across the desktop app, the Steam Deck, and other devices. The update was originally supposed to drop in 2020.
Maintaining a similar feel to the Steam Deck’s interface, all the notifications, chat messages, and even in-game screenshots are now accessible directly while wearing the VR headset. The keyboard has been updated as well to allow for typing in new languages and using emojis — the experience can be further personalised via downloadable themes. Dual-cursor typing should allow for quick problem-solving, and the dashboard comes with battery indicators and charging status for each controller, akin to wireless earbuds. “This is our first big step in a larger ongoing effort to better unify the Steam ecosystem for all users, providing a more consistent experience across devices,” the blog post reads, indicating that the interface will be constantly updated and kept bug-free.
SteamVR 2.0’s release has led to speculations that Valve is planning to launch a new VR device soon. Reports from last month suggested that the company registered a mystery hardware in South Korea — a wireless device, which is presumably a successor to the wired Valve Index, which was released in 2019, before Half-Life: Alyx was launched. A de-facto Steam Deck 2 is out of the question, given its designer Lawrence Yang’s claims that a new one with a ‘significant bump in horsepower’ won’t be launched within the next few years. A standalone VR device codenamed ‘Deckard’ is also allegedly in the works, which is poised to be a competitor to the upcoming Meta Quest VR headsets.
The SteamVR 2.0 update is completely free and can be accessed by clicking Steam, followed by the ‘Check For Client Updates’ option. It’s not very frequent for someone to fire up their VR headset to play games — not a go-to option — so there’s a good chance yours might be out of date. Elsewhere, Steam has revealed its biggest releases from September, which include the rebranded EA Sports FC 24, the expansive space RPG Starfield, the gloomy Pinocchio souls-like Lies of P, and more. The platform also has a Halloween Sale coming up later tonight, October 26 at 10:30pm IST/ 10am PT in the US, bringing heavy discounts on select scary games. Indeed, if you’re ever worried about finding a better price on a major sale, like the upcoming Autumn Sale, you can always check the price history on Steam Database.