Early this morning, Valve announced that they were working on a new interface for Steam, custom-tailored for virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.
Unless you’re a super-ultra-mega early adopter and have a Rift nearby , it can be kind of hard to picture what such an interface might look like. Here’s how it looks:
Shoutout to Youtuber candlejac for uploading the video
If you were hoping for some crazy, entirely brand new interface with all sorts of interactive bits whizzing around your head, you might be a bit… underwhelmed.
For now, Valve has taken the Big Picture interface they built for TVs and adapted it, projecting the interface onto a simulated plane just a few feet in front of the user’s virtual view. It’s essentially simulating a large, widescreen display inside of the Rift, preventing you from having to take off the headset (which is terrible at handling traditional 2D interfaces) just to navigate around Steam.
For those who haven’t used a Rift before, a bit of explanation: the reason you’re seeing two of what appears to be the same image is that the Rift headset pushes one slightly-offset image to each eye. Your brain then takes each of these images and combines them into one (theoretically) seamless view, allowing you to feel like you’re peering into a virtual world rather than just staring at a screen that’s way too close to your face.
[If you are a super-ultra-mega early adopter with a Rift, you can find directions for enabling a Beta version of the VR interface here]