Heading toward the release of Half-Life: Alyx in March, Valve has been steadily improving its SteamVR software to be more stable and easier to use. Now the company is teasing the forthcoming release of “SteamVR 2.0” sometime this year.
While SteamVR has long felt like a power user tool next to the more user-friendly Oculus desktop software, Valve has made notable improvements to its VR software over the last year. Just last week a revamped dashboard was introduced in beta; in December the company overhauled the Settings interface; before that it addressed longstanding audio routing annoyances. And there’s more to come, says Valve.
In a ‘2019 Year in Review‘ post published last week, the company said it released nearly a dozen updates to SteamVR in 2019, with the latest beta version now at 1.10.12. Looking ahead to 2020, the post teased that Valve is “hard at work on SteamVR 2.0, which will feature a number of customer experience improvements.”
The company didn’t say more about what customers can expect from SteamVR 2.0, but our read on it is that it won’t be a complete rebuild from the current version of the software; rather, we’re likely to see a continuation of the steady improvements being made to SteamVR, which will eventually come to be called ‘version 2.0’ once Valve rolls out key improvements.
Regarding to timing, we’d expect that Valve is feeling the pressure to wrap up work on SteamVR 2.0 with Half-Life: Alyx, near on the horizon, as the game will certainly introduce lots of new players to the software.
A revamped SteamVR dashboard was introduced in beta last week but it’s still rather bare bones. Fleshing it out will take some time yet; one could guess that the completion of the new dashboard, alongside the other recent improvements, could be an apt moment for Valve to claim ‘2.0’.