Following a one-month beta testing period in September, Valve has released the long-awaited SteamVR 2.0 update. While it’s unclear whether the company is building the basis for a new virtual reality headset, the update includes a complete makeover of the user interface to mirror the present Steam Big Picture mode.
The store prioritizes new and big VR titles at the top, as well as making it simple to navigate between the desktop client, the Steam Deck, and other devices. The update was originally planned to be released in 2020.
All notifications, chat messages, and even in-game pictures are now accessible directly when wearing the VR headset, maintaining a similar feel to the Steam Deck’s UI. The keyboard has also been improved to support typing in new languages and the use of emojis, the experience may be further personalized with downloadable themes.
Dual-cursor typing might help in problem-solving, and the dashboard includes battery indicators and charging status for each controller, similar to wireless earphones. “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,” according to the blog post, indicating that the interface will be regularly updated and bug-free.
The introduction of SteamVR 2.0 has fueled speculations that Valve is planning to offer a new VR device soon. According to reports from last month, the company registered a mystery hardware in South Korea, a wireless device that is a successor to the wired Valve Index, which was published in 2019.
Given the designer Lawrence Yang’s claims that a new one with a ‘significant bump in horsepower’ will not be released within the next few years, a de-facto Steam Deck 2 is out of the question. A separate VR device dubbed ‘Deckard’ is also rumored to be in the works, to compete with upcoming Meta Quest VR headsets.
The SteamVR 2.0 update is free and can be accessed by going to Steam and then selecting the ‘Check For Client Updates’ option. It’s rare for someone to fire up their VR headset to play games, therefore there’s a significant chance yours is out of date.