It’s difficult not to get excited at the prospect of Windows Mixed Reality when every company is throwing its hat into the ring, but disappointment hit when Steam support was not going to be ready for launch. It seemed like it might be a long wait, with sights set to next year but Microsoft cushioned those woes by announcing that its mixed reality platform is open to Steam VR developers.
Opening Microsoft’s platform up to Steam VR developers gives them access to the preview program, meaning that even if a more solid launch for Steam support doesn’t make its way until early next year, we are likely to see beta tests and trail phases taking place this holiday season alongside the launch of many Mixed Reality headsets.
Steam support is essential for the Mixed Reality platform to succeed, as many VR titles are housed on the platform. Developers now have the ability to bring those same titles that are available on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift to any Mixed Reality headset.
Many Mixed Reality headsets are releasing on October 17th alongside the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which was originally expected to contain more for the platform but has since focused on bug fixes and privacy updates.
While Microsoft or any individual developer has yet to reveal an official roadmap, this is the first time we have had insight into progress on the platform since its announcement. With Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and now Samsung delving into competition, ranging from $399 up, Mixed Reality is set to be a lot more accessible than VR was at the beginning of its life.
It is unknown how these new devices will affect the market of current VR headsets, but Valve is certainly excited with programmer Joe Ludwig commenting on the partnership saying that “the introduction of Windows Mixed Reality headsets is also a big step forward for VR. Working with Microsoft to include SteamVR compatibility with these devices is also a big step in growing VR as an open platform for developers and consumers.”
KitGuru Says: The market for Mixed Reality seems a lot healthier than it was for Virtual Reality, with many more competitors on the field. Hopefully this amount of rivalry breeds innovation moving forward, and at a faster pace. Are you excited at the prospect of Mixed Reality?