Valve today confirmed the existence of SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode which will effectively allow players to play any game from their Steam library inside of VR on big virtual display.

steamvr_logoFor the best VR experience, games need to be designed from the ground up for virtual reality. Simply slapping some VR rendering onto a traditional FPS is going to make for a rather uncomfortable experience, as desktop games do things that are big no-nos for VR, like taking control of the camera during cutscenes, and relying heavily on mouse-based yaw control.

But there’s a happy medium for players who want to play their library of non-VR games in Steam, and that’s SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode.

Valve today confirmed that SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode is in early beta and that the company would show it off for the first time at GDC 2016 next week. The mode is a bridge that allows games not made for VR to be played inside a virtual environment in a sort of virtual home theater with a huge display. The company says SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode will support the HTC Vive “and others,” which we presume to mean ‘any headset that SteamVR supports’ which is currently the Vive and Oculus Rift.

See Also: HTC Shows Vive Pre Working Great for Seated VR at CES

Although the HTC Vive and SteamVR experience are designed for ‘room-scale’ play, we expect users to make use of the new functionality in a seated mode, playing with a keyboard and mouse or controller. Thankfully the platform also supports a seated mode which Valve says will work just as well as room-scale play.

Valve actually talked about SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode years ago, back even before the HTC Vive, when they made their first attempts at translation the Steam experience into VR. It seems playing normal games in the SteamVR environment took a back seat until the rest of the experience was honed for VR.

How to Tell if Your PC is VR Ready
See Also: BigScreen is Making Virtual LAN Parties Real, Beta Signups Now Open

Now that it’s here though, we hope the company doesn’t stop at simply slapping you in a home-theater space and calling it done, as there’s much more exciting functionality to be had, like gaming together with a friend on the same virtual couch, complete with voice chat, or being playing multiplayer matches of games in the virtual space as your entire team and/or adversaries.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • I think I read that the Oculus integration with Xbox and Windows would let publishers define a custom environment in the remote play VR mode. If Steam also could do this it would be great.

    I play 2D titles in Virtual Desktop already because it removes all distractions and gives me a huge curved screen. SteamVR can already dynamically load in models for controllers, loading in models for a theater environment does’t sound too far off :P

    As you mentioned in the article, they did talk about this ages ago. When in-home-streaming came out, I thought for sure they could just pipe that to a render-texture in VR and be done with it. Perhaps that is what they’ve finally done :3

    • apoc1138

      it gives you a “huge” screen, but a very low resolution one surely?

      • George Vieira IV

        Seems like the screen resolution could be anything your system could handle, since they would be virtual pixels. Obviously whatever part of the screen that was in your field of view would be limited to the resolution of the HMD.

        • Stephen Dunn

          Maybe, but pixel density will seem poor until the resolution of HMD’s is much higher.

          • Raphael

            Yes, but even with poor pixel density you’re getting life-size 3d visuals with lag free headtrackng. You have to ask yourself why it is these systems are selling so well if they are so awful to look at? The drop in pixel resolution is worth it for the experience of being in the game world. That 4k monitor gives you a miniature representation in 2d. Playing games through a small window is dull compared to being in that game world. VR users rate this experience above pixel density and they are right to do so.

          • realtrisk

            Agreed completely. I’d also like to note that I was watching movies in the virtual cinema on Oculus DK1, and I’d rather watch a movie like that, even with the low resolution, than watch it on my 50 inch HD TV. The experience is just much better.

          • Raphael

            Exactly. Before oculus I had to use vusix and that was a very poor experience by comparison. Oculus dk1 was a massive leap. We can all say we want 8k per eye with a field of view that fills your peripheral vision but right now what we have is far more immersive than any desktop monitor.

      • Raphael

        VR even with oculus DK2 looks stunning. This SteamVR is just another vorpx virtual cinema screen. Can already play any game in virtual theater mode with vorpx and watch videos/movies. The clarity is stunning.

        • apoc1138

          Sorry, but I had a DK2 and the resolution was complete rubbish, there was absolutely nothing stunning about it.

          • Raphael

            Yes matey, unfortunately I think you’re probably not aware of the history of VR and the massive leap in development oculus dk1 and dk2 brought. If you’re not willing to sacrifice some pixel density to get life-size 3d graphics then I recommend you stay away from VR for at least another 5 years. Vive and cv1 aren’t much different in terms of pixel resolution if you’re comparing to the highly compressed image you get from a desktop monitor. In general VR users are willing to drop pixel density for those life-size 3d graphics. I for one no longer bother buying non VR games and I’m currently using DK2. The clarity is massively improved from the old IO-systems pc3d I used to use or vusix.

          • Bryan Ischo

            That’s all well and good, but there’s still nothing “stunning” about the DK2’s pixel density. Virtual screens look very pixellated. It’s just a fact. I will highly enjoy having either much higher resolution panels, or an alternate high resolution display technology, in future. For now, the resolution of VR headsets is just barely tolerable, nothing more.

            Also, more FOV please.

          • Raphael

            Did I write that dk2 had stunning pixel density? The overall experience is stunning. Not the pixel resolution. See the thing is I’m not obsessed with pixel res because with vr it’s not the only determining factor. Agree fully that the current resolution is only acceptable but the advantages make that drop in resolution acceptable. I suggest you head over to frontier forum vr section and look at the comments from people who play elite on a daily basis in VR. Not one of them would return to gaming on a tiny 4k screen. So there is something that makes low resolution vr more compelling than a 4k monitor. Have any idea what that might be?

          • Raphael

            Why are you asking for more fov? Pixel density and resolution will increase over each generation of hmd vr. Fov is limited by gpu bandwidth to some extent. I could ask for 16k 144hz vr with foveated rendering please? That will happen when the time is right. Until then elite dangerous and dcs World both look stunning on a dk2. And when I say “stunning” please understand that pixel density is not what I’m referring to.

          • More FOV adds a lot to the feeling of immersion; I think we can expect to see this increase over time along with pixel density and the prevalence of things like foveated rendering and an accurate representation of your own body. Hopefully it doesn’t require such an outlandish solution as StarVR, but if it does… I can live with that. Maybe Magic Leap will change the game.

            Current gen has demonstrated the power a feeling of presence can parlay, now it’s time to build upon that with layers of realism.

          • Bryan Ischo

            I’m asking for it because I want it. Next question.

          • Raphael

            Maybe AMD/ATI will have it for you. They have a 4k per eye in the works it seems.

          • Bryan Ischo

            That will be awesome. I am willing to drop major dollars on great solutions, and I know that in 10 years we’ll look back at what we had today and think it’s unimagineable that we put up with it. Looking forward to that eventuality! Too bad I’ll be in my 50s by then :( My kids sure will like it though I’m sure.

          • Raphael

            Lol. Aging is a pain but there is no cutoff age for Vr. Thus even when you’re 50 and have a walking stick you still still be able to use it.

            Actually it’s recommended anyway because hard medical science shows people who play games have better reactions and cognitive ability.

            I’ve never been a fan of ATI but I must say they seem to be taking Vr development very seriously now and they may be the only hope for getting Vr gaming PC prices down.

          • realtrisk

            VR is completely different from a monitor, where the only thing that matters is pixel density and brightness. In VR, things like presence, 3 dimensional images, motion tracking and wide FOV are much more important to giving the overall effect of VR. When Raphael says it is stunning, he is talking about the overall effect of being IN the game, with natural-looking 3D, 1 to 1 head and hand tracking and all the other benefits of VR. He never said the image quality itself was stunning, that was you putting words in his mouth.

            People who get hung up on the pixel density are completely missing the point of VR, which is the immersive, total experience it brings. Yes, we want higher res, but for now I’m just happy living inside my games instead of viewing them on a tiny little monitor.

            I guess some folks appreciate nothing and just like hearing themselves complain.

          • Bryan Ischo

            When I hear “stunning” I think of the word typically in the context of discussing the visual quality of something, not the overall experience, so I guess there was just some miscommunication there. Using the DK2 is, I agree, great fun and a wonderful experience despite the display shortcomings. But if you’re talking about the display quality, which I thought Raphael was referring to, well, it’s just barely tolerable, like I said.

            What a weird point of view you have though. Because I think that the DK2 has a display which is not stunning, I “appreciate nothing and just like hearing myself complain”. Whatever.

          • OgreTactics

            Don’t drink the Raphael kool-aid bullshit. Yes the resolution is shit, but you have to put a very big monitor in front of you, not too far, to get the best effect.

            As you know it’s the same problem with watching movies in a theater, the difference being that you can’t upscale an HD movie

          • Raphael

            Not sure what you’re talking about. Upscale what? And with VR it’s generally the people who have no awareness of the history and development of VR who are only concerned with pixel resolution. Typically they are completely oblivious to the other significant benefits that VR brings. This is evidenced with statements like: “I tried dk2 and the resolution was complete rubbish”. So I guess we didn’t notice anything other than pixel resolution then?

          • OgreTactics

            Simple answer: with an attitude like yours which has already handicapped PC VR, motivating Oculus/Vive to launch these ridiculously priced HMD thus killing PC VR for at least 2/3 years to 10 years as (surprisingly) stated by Zuckerberg himself.

            Nobody gives a shit that “we have come far”. Yes we have, so have we in computers, should we stop wanting better more efficient computers juste because “wow 20 years ago, you could barely fit 40mo Ram on a rack”?

            Plus this kind of hypocritical kool-aid apologist attitude is BS: there is virtually NO difference between the DK1 form-factor invented by Luckey in 2012 and the CV1 4 years after. We still don’t have total or partially full FOV, high resolution, hand tracking, untethering, reverse head tracking, body tracking, mixed reality, etc…

            So yes Bryan is absolutely right, there is nothing “stunning” about DK2 NOR CV1/Vive, you simply can’t work or use them extensively therefor ruining the point except for entertainment, which is dependant on the content. Except Oculus/Valve killed their chances with their ridiculous price/spec barrier.

            Now either you don’t know shit about marketing and prospective 101 and you drink the kool-aid, or you know that the most likely scenario is PC VR either take 2/3 years to take-off in best case scenario or fall into oblivion for at least 10 years or more because of these barriers.

          • Raphael

            Wow. Not coming across as bitter and resentful at all are we? One giant lol. Who woulda thought one of the best VR news sites would attract the – VR has failed me brigade!

            My attitude handicapped VR eh? I knew I had a presence on the internet but had no idea my liking of current generation VR had made palmer and Gabe sit back and say… Well we don’t need to develop any better VR for a while now.

            Sorry to hear the oculus form factor doesn’t meet your development standards. One wonders why if things are so bad in VR land that you haven’t taken control and delivered something better? In think I’m going to come right out and say it right now…

            You have failed to deliver a hmd product with a better form factor.

            Instead of angry ranting because VR owes you… You should be walking the plank for failing us all. Yes and you have failed your buddy (who because of your laziness has to buy one hmd after another looking for reduced screen door and no pixels).

            I think we’d all like an apology from you and a definite deadline for your oculus and vive beating hmd.

            P. S. I’m going to nickname you angry augure…

          • OgreTactics

            YES, people like YOU (at least with you opinion) have part of the responsibility for VR taking off being pushed back to 3/5 years at best, up to 10 even 20 years.

            We all wanted VR now, you included, but people who support blindly companies like Nintendo (of which the fan are the main reasons for Wii U’s failure) or Apple (that is starting to see the downside of appealing to lobotomised couch potatoes), or in your case Oculus, are the reason why company are taking wrong decisions which ends making them fail.

            Except that in the case of a market that doesn’t exist, it means the market might not even take off because of stupid decisions because HMDs are not blu-rays, new consoles, new computer devices, they are like the first TV, radios or consoles: they needed to be cheap to have enough people so that content is regularly produced for it so that more people adopt it. In this case, it’s dead for PC VR.

            All the agencies or brands I know that were planning on going VR just abandoned their plans, some cancelled, some maintain already slated projects to be the last ones. You can continue to be one of those hypocritical “all is wonderful, no critics should be allowed, we will succeed, companies and their products are the best” person, but then reality and causality can’t be escaped.

            *Melodrama – off* Okay so what’s likely to happen is probably that VR will take 2/3 years before being picked-up as a Video Game entertainment device and 5 to 10 years before it becomes a working tool appliance.*on*

            It’s too fucking bad we’ll have to wait and hope VR doesn’t die for another decade because of these stupid marketing mistake like last decade.

      • Well, that would depend on the size of the virtual screen relative to the overall frame; if it occupies around 70% of the frame it would represent roughly a 720p viewing surface.

        • apoc1138

          I think your maths is off by a long way – if you are taking the DK2 overall resolution of 1080p and assuming 70% of it then that is way off.

          For a start the lenses of the DK2 mean that a big chunk of that 1080p is already wasted, and then you have to account for each eye getting less than half of that (with a real monitor both eyes see all the pixels, but due to the way a HMD works you half the resolution each eye can make use of straight away)

          its more like a 360p screen that you actually end up with, and I don’t know about anyone else but even a 50″ screen at 2m would look rubbish at 360p, if it fills 70% then that is more like a 100″ screen, which would look diabolically awful at 360p

          • My maths aren’t off a bit; I’m talking about the consumer releases of the Rift and Vive, which would be the targets of any SteamVR release at this stage, and both of which have display resolutions of 2160 x 1200, or 1080 x 1200 per eye. Not that I don’t have sympathy for owners of the DK2 who haven’t deep enough pockets to upgrade immediately, but I’m not sure how the DK2 would be any kind of factor in this conversation.

            1080 x 1200 = 1,296,000

            1280 × 720 = 921,600

            921,600 ÷ 1,296,000 = .711111

            At 71.1% of the frame, the virtual screen will represent 720p.

            You’re correct that the lense morphing could change things some, but any calculation which places the virtual screen at 71.1% of the pixels on each side of a 2160p screen will appear as 720p. It doesn’t look bad at all; I’ve watched many movies and TV shows in the Oculus Cinema on GearVR, which has the same display resolution and it looks quite fine, certainly nothing like the 360p YouTube hell you describe. I’m definitely still looking forward to 8k per eye, but there’s a reason these things are coming to market now.

          • apoc1138

            sorry, several people were responding and one person in particular keeps talking about the DK2 being “stunning”

            the gearVR in particular makes very poor useage of the available pixels, watching a movie in the gearVR is no where near the equivalent of 720p… it is much better than the DK2 though, so I am hopeful for the effect of better optics in the CV1

            as an example, when I cue up a movie on the GearVR and then remove the headset, you can see that less than half the pixels of the panel are actually being used to display the movie

          • No worries. Interestingly, the GearVR actually has substantially more pixels than I thought. It’s full resolution is 2560 x 1440, or 1280 x 1440 per eye.

            1280 x 1440 = 1,843,200

            1280 x 720 = 921,600

            921,600 ÷ 1,843,200 = .50

            On GearVR, only 50% of the pixels available to each eye would be necessary to achieve a 720p viewing surface. Not sure what the actual effect comes to, but it certainly seems passable to me. Using a gamepad to sit even one row closer does make a noticeable impact though.

            There’s an old Reddit thread about this very topic, and one of the things consistently mentioned that is impossible to quantify is the phenomena of perceived resolution; with each eye receiving a slightly different angle on the scene, it is possible that the perceived resolution may at times actually double the resolution available to either eye alone (in theory, of course).

          • apoc1138

            but that is exactly my point, it is much less than 50% being actually used, due to the lenses not covering anywhere near the full panel

          • While your methods for discerning this certainly seem less than scientific, I won’t argue the point. There seems to be plenty of pixels available to present a pleasant image regardless. It feels like something between 480p and 720p to me. I think John Carmack pegged it at 960 x 540(~28% of the pixels available to each eye), so that seems about right.

            Maybe it’s just because I grew up watching VHS on an 18″ screen from 10ft, but this seems perfectly fine to me, with lots of room for adjustment in presentation with the current generation, and growth in the future. Increases provided by perceived resolution are just the cherry on top. It feels like you’re sitting in a theatre with a giant screen – that’s as good a place as any to start.

          • Raphael

            You seem to be obsessed with pixel res which is all just pretty much something non Vr users engage in. You can spend forever debating and saying Vr isn’t good enough but the sales suggest otherwise. Every dk1 sold. Every dk2 sold. Pre orders for cv1 and vive through the roof. So all that obsessing over pixel res is kind of a wasted exercise.

          • apoc1138

            I had a DK1 and DK2, I have a GearVR now and a CV1 on order, please tell me I’m not a VR user
            the CV1 will be getting re-sold if its not a massive improvement over even the gear – at least that was free

            you can’t tell someone their opinion isn’t valid, for me, right now, the resolution is too low to stop me from using a 1440p monitor for most of my gaming, people saying “oh but its stunning” or “it looks like 720p”… erm, no, it doesn’t, sure I will play VR games using a VR headset, but no way is it replacing my PC monitor or TV entirely, not by a long shot

          • Raphael

            You seem to be oblivious to what Vr actually is. Resolution isn’t the most critical factor. It does sound like you should stay away from Vr. I’ve had conversations like this before from people who can’t get away from pixel res and seem to think that’s all Vr is about. Did you ever try an io systems PC 3d or a vusix hmd? You’d really be complaining about those. I would say you’re one of those people who come to Vr expecting it to be the same as that 1080 or 4k monitor. You have a really bad attitude. Why would you even think about pre ordering cv1 if you didn’t like or understand dk2? If the pixel res was your only concern and is all you get from Vr then you should be using 4k monitors rather than any hmd. I would advise you to cancel oculus cv1 unless you’re just looking to buy then complain. Cv1 and vive don’t give you monitor clarity. You still see pixels and screen door.

            Also your statement about gear Vr versus oculus is just bizarre. It’s like you don’t understand the difference between mobile and desktop Vr. Why would you buy any Vr system if you don’t know how it’s going to be? I knew what to expect with oculus dk2 long before I bought it and it didn’t disappoint.

            The problem is you went into VR not knowing enough about it and it’s clear that you’re not suited for it. There are dk2 users who will not swap their VR for a 4k monitor when they play elite dangerous and they really get the overall experience of being in the game world.

            Your statement about selling cv1 If it isn’t a massive step-up is laughable.

            I’ve just realised I’ve been had… You’re trolling! Lol. Very good.

            You bought a dk1, dk2 and you got a free gear vr and if the cv1 isn’t significantly better than gear vr you’re gonna sell it. You’re a clown for sure. Don’t buy a cv1 or a vive. I will make you a custom design I sketched out on my bedroom wall. Resolution is 4k per eye with 270 degree fov. Only needs a gtx 650 to run.

          • apoc1138

            No, on several fronts. But you’ve clearly decided you know more about what I think than I do, so I’ll leave you to your own pointless ramblings.

          • Raphael

            You’ve left no doubt for anyone with s brain. You bought dk1, dk2 and got gear Vr free. You’re clearly bitter and disappointed. Why would anyone compare gear Vr to cv1? The problem here is that you don’t know what you’re buying. You have inflated expectations and your benchmark is a desktop monitor. That actually makes you look pretty vacant. You clearly have plenty of money and are able to buy without researching. I know you think I’m attacking you but I’m just astonished how someone can buy this tech twice and not know what to expect before purchase. I knew exactly what to expect before I bought a dk2. Just on spec alone. I knew it would have pixels visible but I also knew it would put me in the game world. You should not be buying cv1. The step up from dk2 isn’t that great and certainly not enough to fill your inflated view of what generation 1 Vr should be.

            Let’s look at the facts.. You have nothing good to say about Vr thus far and you’re already setting up to complain about cv1. You think my assessment is unfair?

          • apoc1138

            How do I have inflated expectations?
            I already said I am expecting to not get on with the CV1 and will sell it after trying it out. That seems like pretty low expectations to me.

            If it’s better than that and I keep it then great. I’ll keep buying each time a better version comes and keep selling it until it is something I can actually use.

            Great for you if you can ignore screen door, for me it completely removes any sense of immersion.

          • Raphael

            You’re still missing the point aren’t you? You shouldn’t have to keep buying and then declaring the product not good enough. You should know it will have visible pixels and screen door just by the spec and the feedback. Has no one told you that both vive and cv1 still have screen door? Your expectations are unreasonable. Either you’re completely ignorant about VR technology or you’re doing it just to have something to complain about.

            You are proving my points that you don’t understand VR technology at all. You should have researched long before you purchased dk1 and you should have known exactly what to expect. You had a few years waiting before dk1 became available in which to research and figure out in your mind how it would look. You should have done the same with dk2: a 1080 screen/2 and enlarged with powerful lenses. Pretty obvious no?

            And you still can’t figure out that cv1 is still gonna have pixels and screen door?


            This is why I thought you were trolling because I can’t believe anyone is that ignorant about expensive hardware they’re buying.

          • apoc1138

            OK, so I’ll sell it for a profit like I did my DK2, thanks for the heads up.

            The minimal screen door on the gear, along with reviews and photos through the lenses showing the screen door was gone had me slightly hopeful. But clearly someone who doesn’t know me and has not tried the CV1 themselves knows more about how I’ll feel about the CV1.

            You must crush all opinions other than your own, good work centurion.

          • Raphael

            You’ve explained to everyone how you can’t tolerate screen door and pixels. If you want to sell cv1 for profit then that’s a good reason to buy.

            If you’re hoping screen door will be gone and no visible pixels then you will become agitated and irritable again. I get the feeling you rely on hope regarding image quality. I’m going to suggest logic instead.

            What we need is someone to calculate the necessary screen resolution for zero screen door and pixels. ATI are aiming for 16k display resolution and nvidia have said the same.

            You know that cv1 and vive have slightly increased resolution over dk2. Not enough to get rid of your two enemies.

            However… Vive and cv1 are both using displays made for Vr so the pixel density should be higher together with other tricks.

            But there is still screen door with both products and pixels.

            You’d need to double the screen resolution of cv1 to get anywhere near the visual fidelity you’re after.

            But if you can sell cv1 for a profit then that’s a good reason to buy.

          • apoc1138

            You keep inferring I have a massive emotional attachment to VR. The only person I can see getting worked up and irritable here is you. I’m perfectly happy to try each iteration until I find it compelling enough to use it on a daily basis. In the meantime I think i’m free to have whatever opinion I want without some Internet 3 year old trying to tell me my opinion is “wrong”.

            In case you try to read my post as anything other than jovial, have a smiley face. :)

          • Raphael

            Oh dear. Getting a bit aggressive now aren’t we. While you’re clearly under the impression you’re being attacked. I’m simply trying to explain that Vr isn’t at a point yet where it will meet your expectations. I don’t think you have any emotonal attachment to Vr. I do. I think it’s great. There is no legal requirement for you to accept pixels and screen door so you’re free to buy and sell every hmd that comes along. I was just puzzled by your haphazard approach of buying each one and seeing if it has screen door.

            That aspect I find bizarre because you can quite easily determine without buying anything.

            I guess that’s your preferred method though so carry on with it.

            A lot of people seem to be saying vive is a better experience… Have you thought about pre ordering that?

          • apoc1138

            From everything I’ve read, the OR has less screen door than the Vive. So no, I haven’t considered getting a Vive. Also the main games I’m interested in have announced OR support but not Vive, so that pretty much removes any chance at this point.

            I like to try things for myself before discounting it. I also don’t decide I’m going to love something before even trying it.

            I bought both 4K and 1440p/144hz so that I could try them side by side with my older 1440/60hz. Specs can’t tell you if you are going to like something or not, unless you are actually a robot.

            The screen door on the DK2 made immersion impossible for me, until I actually try it I don’t know if the screen door on the CV1 is diminished to the point I can ignore it. It’s called being open minded.

            If it’s better than gearVR, which reports say it is, I’m hopeful that I can now get past it, but I won’t know until I try. I’m pretty sure it won’t be a complete replacement for a monitor and TV at this point though.

            I don’t know how socially inept you have to be though to think that someone won’t take offence at being called ignorant or vacant. That just seems pretty dumb.

            It’s also completely unnecessary. You should be perfectly capable of putting your OPINION across without resorting to insults.


          • Raphael

            I also understand oculus has less screen door than vive and vive also has an issue with Fresnel lens reflections on dark scenes with bright areas. I also agree about the oculus titles. It’s a much more established product. Vive didn’t have the massive community development palmer lucky generated when he made Dev kits available to everyone.

            Re: screen door…

            I guess it’s possible your eyes are much better at distinguishing very small detail. If you have very good vision I guess screen door would be much more of an issue.

            I have cv1 pre-ordered for June. A friend of mine is getting his end of March.

          • apoc1138

            My order was in within 4 minutes, so I have day 1 stock coming, hence why I know that even if I don’t like it I can sell it for at least what I paid, so it’s a no brainer, why wouldn’t I try it.

          • Raphael

            Yup. Agree. You win either way.

          • realtrisk

            Now you actually bring up an interesting point, here. I wear glasses, and when I use Rift DK2, I take them off. I’ve tried wearing them in the headset, but the screen door effect is so bad that I can’t even see the scene, only the bright glowing dots of the pixels. Do you have 20/20 vision? Is this what you’re talking about?

            This is one area where having poor eyesight actually can help, since the low pixel density means I don’t lose any visual detail with glasses off, just blurring of the sub pixels into a visible image.

            I can understand where you’re coming from, therefore. If I had to wear my glasses, I probably wouldn’t like my DK2 as much. I’m really hoping it’s better on CV1/Vive.

            (As a side note, if you do get it and have the same problem, I’d be interested what someone like you, who is very sensitive to the visible pixels, would think of various blurring techniques applied to the lenses to try and mitigate the problem. Long ago there were articles on modding the DK1 to blur the pixels, with people trying everything from clear contact paper to Vaseline smeared on the backs of the lenses.)

          • Raphael

            And yes you have inflated expectations. If you can’t tolerate pixels and screen door that means you’re expectations are inflated. What’s bizarre is how you’re buying these VR units until you magically get one with no screen door. If you’re extra special to all the VR users out there who love the tech even with pixels and screen door then you’d surely wasn’t to avoid buying another one yes? Especially since journalists and tech reviews have already stated cv1 and vive have screen door.

  • jlschmugge

    So will this be able to make games “3D” as in watching it on a 3D monitor?

    • Flamerate1

      I like that idea. It would be like looking through a window to a game.

      • mabrowning

        Except even the “window” experience would involve head tracking and feeding that back into the game renderer. This is more like what the article described: playing standard 2D games in a big theatre on a projector.

        • jlschmugge

          I don’t think the game would need head tracking input, only the virtual theater. The game would just need to emulate looking at a 3D monitor, like in real life where you have to wear 3D glasses.

        • Raphael

          You mean like vorpx. Vorpx has been doing that for a long time.

          • jlschmugge

            Yes. I’m just curious if Stream is smart enough to implement that. Unfortunately that would hurt VorpX a lot. They would only have the advantage of their VR overhauls.

          • Raphael

            I’m going to guess and say it won’t be anywhere near as capable as vorpx. Vorpx has the tricks to generate stereoscopic 3d from the games on its supported list. Would be amazing if valve implemented that and I agree it would pretty much kill vorpx.

            I think valve will just give a large screen theater and display all the games in 2d. A shame when some games have perfect 3d support (3d vision certified).

          • And not free. $40 just to get this, but you get VR support for other games too.

            VR Destop free too.

          • Raphael

            Yes, it’s currently the best software for non Vr games. I tried the free vereiro perception but the list of games was too small and obscure. I love the virtual cinema with vorpx too.

      • Jean Thompson

        Vorpx has a mode that is like a big screen TV AND is 3D. It’s actually pretty sweet.

        • Raphael

          Agree. Vorpx virtual cinema let you play any game on the virtual theater screen and all the games on its list will be in 3d.

    • OgreTactics

      Yes, although stereoscopy has to be adapted specifically to VR, which is not the case of most 3D content, you still get a bit of that effect though

      • jlschmugge

        For games to be 3D on a monitor requires something like NVidea’s 3D Vision. Although I would expect that to be different programming that is not directly compatible with a VR HMD, I hope that is something that can be implemented when viewing virtual monitor. I understand VR developers’ concerns over traditional FPS locomotion making people sick, so hopefully something like a virtual 3D monitor meets the middle ground.

        Some have been posting about VorpX. I’m aware of VorpX, but I did not realize that they might actually have a virtual 3D monitor in their theater mode. I last heard on one of their forum posts a month ago that VorpX is still working on CV1 support, but since that is their bread and butter, I am hopeful that I can count on them for the most useful support of “legacy” games.

        • Raphael

          Vorpx has a virtual 3d theater. You can display your desktop on it and play any game that way. Only games on the vorpx list will be displayed in 3d. Another thing to note is that when playing games or movies with the vorpx theater mode the image quality is significantly better than with many of the other oculus virtual theaters out there. I’ve tried them all but vorpx really stands out in terms of smoothness and clarity of image.

    • Now THAT would be a huge selling point for this application…

    • benz145

      Assuming the game supports it, yes, it would be technically possible. Whether or not Valve will do that is another question. My gut would say no 3D at launch of SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode (heretofore: SDTM), but maybe as an update down the road.

    • Cymen

      No….this article clearly explains that this is about playing games on a huge virtual screen. Basically, you put on the VR-Headset and can play the game as if you are sitting in a cinema with a huge screen. And all games on Steam will be supported. I doubt that there would be actual depth to the image, though. It is just a theatre mode.

      • jlschmugge

        That wasn’t quite what I meant. I was thinking a virtual 3D monitor, not necessarily making the game VR. I don’t have a capable monitor or tv in real life, so that would be the added bonus of a virtual one. Not sure I’d care for a virtual 2D monitor over my real life one, but I’d use a virtual 3D monitor for sure.

  • Santa

    But are those games rendered in 3D?

  • Kenchan1337

    LOL just think about the idea, it’s redonkulous. buy VR to play games on a couch.
    Like i thought: VR will have a hard time to implement itself into games, because a game is either a traditional mouse keyboard game (joystick) OR vr game, BUT NEVER BOTH.

    • Raphael

      Utter nonsense. Never played half life 2 or tf2 with oculus, mouse and keys then?

      • Kenchan1337

        i dont need to to know that controlling head movement with both mouse and oculus is uncomfortable. i played plenty of unreal tournament to know its BS to think you can do with a HMD what you can do on a monitor with mouse and keyboard

        • Raphael

          I have no idea what you’re complaining about. I have no issues playing hl2 or tf2 with mouse, keys and dk2. Utterly bizarre. I’ve also played quite a few games with vorpx, mouse, keys too including mirror’s edge. You seem to want to set rules and regulations. There is no rule that says Vr can’t be used with mouse and keys. I detest Xbox controller so mouse, key is infinitely more preferable. Understand that if you personally can’t use mouse and key with Vr that is your own issue. You don’t dictate for the rest of the planet.

          I’ve been playing games with oculus dk2, mouse and keys for over a year. Are you going to lecture me and tell me I’m breaking the law? You need to grow up and understand that you don’t represent everyone.

          It’s not my problem that you’re easily confused and can’t handle mouse and headtracking together.

        • Raphael

          Head on over to vorpx forum and tell people they can’t use Vr with mouse and keys. See what reaction you get. Update us here when you get replies…

        • Raphael

          I’ve been playing games with mouse, keys and VR for a year. Go to the vorpx forum and tell people they’re not allowed to play games that way because you said so. See what reaction you get.

          • Kenchan1337

            i don’t need to ask anyone, i know i can’t play UT instagib like i used to wearing VR.
            Why the fudge would i tell a bunch of people they arent allowed to play (x), that just doesn’t make sense… im just pointing out the obvious limitations to it and don’t come with any BS telling me there are none.
            All that would tell me is that you don’t know UT instagib or suck at it.

          • Raphael

            You seem to be the second over emotional lunatic telling everyone your rules and regulations here on this site. I honestly don’t give a crap about your instagib nonsense. You play your games with your rules and I will play mine with my lack of rules and regulations. OK?

          • Kenchan1337

            ” I honestly don’t give a crap about your instagib nonsense”
            so why even reply… you dont say anything that counters my point. You like playing TF and half life 2 with VR, go ahead man. i couldn’t care less.

          • Raphael

            OK. This is good. We’ve both reached a point where we don’t care. I hope they get the new unreal t working in VR.

          • Raphael

            “All that would tell me is that you don’t know UT instagib or suck at it.” – gibberish. Gib-out.

  • Trailmix

    This is a great solution to my life long dream
    To play video games on a movie theater screen

  • John Smith

    I am hyped for this. Sometimes I don’t or can’t share my screen with others. I also think this will be a far more immersive environment. Hopefully we’ll be able to customize the room to some extent.

  • Panjandrum

    For actual conversion of existing games into stereoscopic mode look at Tri-Def. Works very well with a lot of titles (DAO, FO3, etc. etc.) but seems to be having trouble with some of the newer titles. I’ve been using it for many years now with results ranging from “acceptable” to “absolutely stunning” depending on the game / engine.

  • Grim CW

    my question is what about non-steam games that won’t load through steams interface (I.E. Origin or Microsoft games, both of which are locked out to prevent adding as non-steam games) How will those work? will there be an option to drop it to the desktop itself ala the Steam Link?

  • And this opens a possibility for game developers to make the virtual environment in favor of the game

  • OgreTactics

    HMZs sold nothing and no-one gave a shit. Palmer Luckey made a breakthrough and whoever at business/marketing decision for Oculus and Vive crapped all over PC VR’s short-term future, period.

    VR -might- be saved by mobile and console VR, otherwise it’ll be another decade or more before it takes off because of these completely irrational and stupid price and specs barriers, as well as kool-aid apologist like you.

    • Raphael

      Has no one explained to you that first generation tech enters the market at a much higher price?

      Those 4k monitors were $2000 initially. Were you on a psychotic rant about the cost of 4k monitors too?

      First gen consumer VR is that price because it costs a lot to make. It’s a lot of technology brought together. Far more complex than any 4k monitor so I would say cv1 pricing is remarkably light.

      In actual fact the only thing holding VR back right now is the graphics card needed to run it. A gtx 970 barely has enough performance to drive a dk2 with dx11 level graphics.

      It’s possible that AMD may hold the key to affordable VR. Certainly the biggest thing holding back VR resolution and field of view is beyond the control of hmd makers.

      I would say you should really be blaming nvidia and ati for not developing a gpu equivalent in performance to dual or triple 980ti in a single package priced no higher than $200. I think you’ll find nvidia and ati have been overdosing on kool-aid with their $1200 gaming gpus.

      I think you should contact both gpu companies and rant at them. Tell them to stop drinking kool-aid and stop holding VR back.

      • OgreTactics

        And that’s why, you don’t fucking KNOW shit about marketing. 4K monitors, DVD or Blu-Ray players, Playstation 2 or Xbox 360 etc…these are NOT new products.

        Did you never see a fucking TV before 4K, didn’t you have a console before PS2, did you not own a video recorder before Blu-Ray?

        That’s probably the same fucking stupid thing their low-class analyst firm or team thought to motivate the high price, except we are talking about a paradigm shifting product: the first TV were ultra-cheap and spread like powder in the 40s, so were the first radios in the 20s, so were the first telephones, or the first console in the 70s…the only exception being the computers which is okay since they were general-purpose machine, not content dependant devices.

        You either don’t know SHIT about VR or you are the biggest fucking hypocrite I’ve seen this far. We build an HDM for manufacture testing purpose in my agency, it costed us 200€ for a single HMD (with no scaled cost reduction). VR works really well on mobile with shitty mobile GPUs, in fact the Galaxy S7 inside a Gear as a WAY better resolution than CV1/Vive.

        ALL that you are saying is non-sensical shit based on nothing but hypocritical or completely blind apology of the VR company, you are part of the problem would say feminists.

        • Raphael

          Hmm, psychotic behavioral disorder. Insane rambling. I’m thinking you’ve been overdosing on kool-aid.

          Update: Augure… I’ve just spoken with another ER consultant and he thinks your psychosis has been caused by kool-aid poisoning. He says we need to get you to your nearest hospital.

          Apparently you’ve also been ranting and raving directly to palmer Luckey in the belief that he’s part of some sinister cult to create facebook VR zombies out of the world’s population.

          • OgreTactics

            And that’s where you failed. You didn’t handle the argumentation till the end, and now you are trying to be funny to cover your lack of arguments. Too bad, it’s been a pleasure discussing with you and showing you wrong although you’re probably too hypocritical and delusional which explains you’re end failure. But it’s okay it’s just an internet discussion, good continuation Raphael!

          • Raphael

            Do you have any idea who invented the donut and what year it was invented?

          • Raphael

            Yes Augure, I must admit your arguments are totally unbeatable. I cannot compete.

        • Raphael

          “VR works real­ly well on mobile with shitty mobile GPU­s, in fact the Galaxy S7 inside a Gear a­s a WAY better resolution than CV1/Vive.” – hilarious. So you think mobile Vr is the same as dx11 graphics on a PC? Mobile graphics work well because they are vastly reduced compared to PC. I’m not going to call you dumb because I know is the kool-aid making you crazy.

        • Bryan Ischo

          The first TVs were not ultra cheap. They were expensive. Which is why very few families had them for many years.

          • OgreTactics

            Your spewing things you don’t know anything about. The first TV circulated like hot cakes in the 40s after the war and was quickly adopted by the middle-class because it was relatively cheap for what it was, exactly like the first radios or the first consoles.

          • Bryan Ischo

            I looked up prices of TVs in the 50’s. ($150 – $200 in 1950’s dollars). That’s the equivalent of a grand or two today. If you think VR headsets at less than a thousand dollars are expensive, you must categorize TVs of that era as expensive also.

            That was a time when there wasn’t much competing for personal entertainment dollars though, so perhaps people were a little looser with the purse strings.

            I did “make up” that people didn’t have TVs though. I don’t have facts for that, it’s just something that I thought was true based on the number of people I know who never had a TV until the 1960s.

          • OgreTactics

            You went to search for the price, and adjusted them per inflation, good, but not all the revenue and consumption factors. The fact that MOST people had gotten a TV by the 60s in industrial countries means that TV took off long before (in the 50s).

            When Mark Zuckerberg himself says that VR might not be taking off until 10 years in the future, and that’s an eventuality it might be more, it means that VR won’t eventually reach mass adoption until the 2030s…

            AND VR isn’t launching this year. It launched in the early 90s, literally, VR headsets were first commercialised and packaged in the 90s, and if you think that back then people weren’t impressed or the technology weren’t ready but somehow, relative to our era, people are now, you’re are making the same mistake they did back then.

    • Bryan Ischo

      I actually don’t agree with you. I think that current headsets – CV1 and Vive – are far from ideal, but they are also very far from useless. They are great experiences and I think enough people will enjoy them to allow the market to drive the technological development to much greater heights. I do not think these headsets will flop, I think they’ll be very successful in a certain niche (not everyone wants to spend this much money on an expensive entertainment device, but many will).

      All that being said, the DK2 display does suck. Does it make the experience terrible? No, it’s still awesome! But we really need more pixels and wider FOV. I’m sure it’s coming.

      • OgreTactics

        It’s not a matter of you, and me, amateurs, being okay with experimental VR headsets, it’s about the fact that if mass market doesn’t pick it up, you and me won’t have any further VR headset and content for another 10 years, because the mass market doesn’t give a shit about just a wider FOX and resolutions.

        The price is unacceptable, periods. The fact that Playstation which was according to manufacture paper slater to be released at 300$ (the price of the original Oculus in fact) but ended being 400$ so much the other headset are expensive, and still be well below the price and spec barrier of Oculus and Vive, shows how greedy PC VR maker got, and you and me, have no choice in the unavoidable but natural consequences it will have: it will flop, period, and we’ll have to wait for another 10 years before another iteration of Vr comes up, unless PSVR and mobile VR temper that adoption.

        • Bryan Ischo

          I dunno, I watch the videos of people who have received early Vive shipments (don’t know how they get them, they must “know somebody”) on YouTube, and “normal” people seem to really be impressed with the experience. Most don’t even mention the resolution, screen door, or field of view. I have hopes that screen door is reduced to an extent with the release versions of these headsets that it’s not generally noticeable. Non-geeks don’t seem to notice those things apparently, being so wowed and engaged with the content. Perhaps after repeated use people will start to express dissatisfaction, who knows.

          I agree about the price; it’s a barrier for most people. Not for me, for reasons I won’t go into, but I can certainly understand how people don’t want to spend more than $300 for *anything* these days. I remember when decent computers were upwards of $3,000, but I guess there’s a reason that computers were not mainstream back then …

          • OgreTactics

            Wait I’m not saying VR is bad. I’m saying there are amateurs like you or me, and then there is the consumer market without which VR won’t take off until maybe another 10 years.

            And as impressive as it is when you first get a VR headset, after 2 years fibbing with it you realise it hasn’t change much since 2012, and there are many imperfections that won’t cut it for regular people.

            Then, as it wasn’t enough, the fact that the price is unrealistically high for such an HMD, and because PC has so many problem of efficiency, optimisation and compatibilities which VR is revealing not to be an “option” because raw GPU power is somewhat high, but an urgent challenge to overcome for PCs, the natural, unavoidable result is that VR won’t take off for several years when it should have taken off this year or even last year.

            It’d be complicated to explain all the ends of whys of marketing, prospective, trends, content productions but…it doesn’t matter that a few people (even hundreds of thousands) are impressed or interested in VR if the same thing as in the 90s happens partially for the same reasons.

  • T Sheehan

    For those who don’t want to wait to see what it (probably) looks like, and have an Oculus DK2 around, fire up the Virtual Desktop app, set it to 150 degrees, 1 meter distance, and then fire up any game you normally play. Remember you can lean in during the virtual environment to focus on a part of the screen, and don’t use the cheesy “simulated theater” flat mode, use the space themed skybox and curved modes.
    I spent two hours playing Battlefield 4 last night on a simulated 150 degree curved 60 inch 1080p 75hz monitor, and had no dip in KD ratio. Yes, your headset does a fine job simulating a very large screen curved monitor, and if you set it up properly, you don’t even need one (set VirtualDesktop to Start on Bootup). Just make sure you have some extra frames that there isn’t any additional latency in graphics heavy games, that can be an annoyance when playing competitively.

  • Psycold

    I’m hoping they add the ability to play blu ray discs through the theater mode. I have a lot of films that I was never able to see in the theater.