Early adopters of “Windows Mixed Reality” VR headsets can now access a wealth of new content thanks to an official integration with Steam, now available as a public preview, allowing the headsets to play SteamVR content from the platform.
Update (11/15/17): The SteamVR integration for Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets is now available for free on Steam as a public preview. On the Steam page, Microsoft addresses why they’re launching it as a preview:
Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR is currently targeted at consumers who want to be first to try out their Steam titles on Windows Mixed Reality. There are some known performance and experience issues that we are actively addressing. Early feedback will help spot new issues with a breadth of content.
Microsoft offers a detailed set of instructions for using Mixed Reality VR headsets play VR content on Steam, as well as troubleshooting. Steam helpfully provides the following controls for using the Mixed Reality controllers with SteamVR:
Original Article (11/9/17): Valve built SteamVR in an open way with the hopes that third-party headset makers would connect to the platform to offer users access to Steam’s library of VR content. With Vive and Rift support already nailed down, Microsoft’s own Windows “Mixed Reality” VR headsets are next in line to join the fray with an officially sanctioned integration which allows the headsets to tap into a trove of new content via Steam.
And it can’t come soon enough for early adopters of the Windows VR headsets. At the time of writing, Microsoft’s own Windows Store offers a paltry 61 VR apps, with only a handful of highlights and no meaningful exclusives.
Thankfully, a public preview of the SteamVR integration for Windows “Mixed Reality” VR headsets is due to launch on Wednesday, November 15th. The preview is currently available to select developers who have applied via this form. Microsoft is positioning this initial launch of the Steam integration for Windows VR headsets as preview / beta, saying that the official launch will come at some unspecified later date.