Valve has launched its highly anticipated SteamVR 2.0 update, following a month-long beta testing period in September. While it’s unclear whether the company is laying the groundwork for a new VR headset, the update brings a complete UI overhaul, in a way that matches the current Steam Big Picture mode. The store prioritizes new and major VR releases, in addition to making it easy to navigate through a consistent experience across the desktop app, Steam Deck, and other devices. The update was initially supposed to be available in 2020.
Maintaining a similar feel to the Steam Deck interface, all notifications, chat messages, and even in-game screenshots can now be accessed directly while wearing the VR headset. The keyboard has also been updated to allow typing in new languages and using emojis. The experience can be further personalized via downloadable themes. Dual-cursor input should allow for quick troubleshooting, and the dashboard comes with battery indicators and charging status for each controller, like the wireless earbuds. “This is our first big step in a larger, ongoing effort to better unify the Steam ecosystem for all users, delivering a more consistent experience across all devices,” the blog post reads, stating that the interface will be constantly updated and free of bugs.
The release of SteamVR 2.0 led to speculation that Valve was planning to launch a new VR device soon. Reports from last month suggested the company registered some mysterious hardware in South Korea – a wireless device, which is likely the successor to the wired Valve Index, released in 2019, before the launch of Half-Life: Alyx. A de facto Steam Deck 2 is out of the question, given its designer Lawrence Yang’s claims that a new one with a “significant power increase” won’t launch in the next few years. A standalone VR device named “Deckard” is also reportedly in the works, which is reportedly poised to become a competitor to the upcoming Meta Quest VR headsets.
The SteamVR 2.0 update is completely free and can be accessed by clicking on Steam, followed by the “Check for client updates” option. It’s not very often that someone launches their VR headset to play games – it’s not a must-have option – so there’s a good chance yours is outdated. Elsewhere, Steam revealed its biggest September releases, which include the renamed EA Sports FC 24, the sprawling space RPG Starfield, the dark Pinocchio Souls-like Lies of P, and more. The platform is also offering a Halloween sale later tonight, October 26 at 10:30 PM IST/10:00 AM PT in the US, offering deep discounts on select spooky games. Indeed, if you are ever afraid of finding a better price during a major sale, like the next fall sale, you can always consult the price history on the Steam database.