Valve expands support for OpenXR enabling developers to implement OpenXR apps with SteamVR

In Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality News

February 25, 2021 – Valve has recently announced its current and expanding support for OpenXR, the new industry-wide open standard for VR & AR, through the latest update of SteamVR to version 1.16.

Valve is releasing initial support for the current 1.0.9 OpenXR release now, to enable developers to begin work implementing OpenXR applications that work with SteamVR. This initial support means that SteamVR is currently passing 95% of conformance tests, and Valve now sees this as the time to start testing. The company added though that it is not yet enabled for broad general use.

OpenXR is an open, royalty-free standard for access to virtual reality and augmented reality platforms and devices. It is developed by a working group managed by the Khronos Group. The working group consists of several company members, including: AMD, ARM, Epic, Facebook, Google, HTC, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Unity, Valve, and many more. Through the group’s efforts, it means that VR now has a consolidated API to enable developers to bring universal VR support to their applications, according to Valve.

OpenXR essentially enables developers to build content in a way that will allow them to span the myriad types of hardware and software platforms, something that Valve believes is “an extremely important and exciting step forward for the VR industry.”

For developers wishing to get access to the OpenXR Developer Preview, opt-in to the SteamVR Beta:

  1. Right click on SteamVR in the Steam library and select Properties
  2. Click on the Betas tab
  3. Pick “beta – SteamVR Beta Update” from the list

For full information on what the latest update to SteamVR means in terms of OpenXR support, click here. Further discussion for developers can be found in the Steam community OpenXR forum.

Image credit: Steam / Valve

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.