Steam to Support Virtual Reality in Large Rooms
Valve recently announced that SteamVR Tracking 2.0 will support a wide 33×33 feet space in early 2018 for those wanting for more space in Virtual Reality.
SteamVR Tracking to Support 4 Base Stations in 2018
Steam’s current tracking method allows you to play room-scale VR games in a 13×13 foot area, which is ok for a standard living room, but what if players want more space? Luckily for everyone, the SteamVR Tracking 2.0 will support a huge area of 33×33 feet. But for this, you will need four trackers instead of two. Arcades and other experiences could greatly benefit from this improvement.
Valve is always looking to increase the number of tracking stations to offer players even larger spaces, but it doesn’t have a clear timetable for this project, so don’t expect huge VR environment with the size of large warehouses in the near future.
The SteamVR won’t also have an official mounting option until later in 2018, and existing HTC Vive headsets won’t work with the finished next-generation tracking system. For backward compatibility, developers can use the HTC Vive through engineering samples that add a blinker.
“Here are some technical details to plan around for SteamVR Tracking 2.0:
- At launch, the base stations will work in configurations of up to 2 base stations.
- In early 2018, we’ll expand that functionality to 4 base stations that should cover a single room play space of roughly 10 x 10 meters.
- We’re evaluating adding functionality beyond 4 base stations as part of our product roadmap but do not have a current timeline we can share.
- For more information, please see our SteamVR Tracking Technology Update post from June 5th.”
This kind of technological improvements might not make a huge difference if you only play VR games in your room. But they can be crucial for public and commercial VR projects.