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Valve Launches OpenVR SDK

With sign-ups for the developer edition of Valve and HTC’s Vive virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) now open, it’s getting near to that time that the device will finally be in studios’ hands. Of course, these developers will need the tools necessary to create Vive compatible experiences once kits do arrive. Yesterday saw Epic Games announce the arrival of the SteamVR system in its Unreal Engine 4.8, and now Valve has released its OpenVR software development kit (SDK), which allows developers to access SteamVR hardware.

HTC Vive

The OpenVR SDK provides support for the HTC Vive Developer Edition along with the SteamVR controller and Lighthouse, the laser-based tracking system that allows users to move in an area of up to 15 feet by 15 feet and have those movements replicated within an experience. Along with Unreal Engine 4.8 support, it’s been revealed that the SteamVR Unity Plugin will also be available in the near future. Initial release notes, new documentation and samples are also all now available via Github.

“This SDK release is the next step toward the first major Developer Edition shipment,” Valve noted in a post announcing the SDK. “If you have not yet applied to receive a Developer Edition, there is still time.”

With the first shipments of the HTC Vive Developer Edition expected within the next few weeks it shouldn’t be long until studios get a deeper look into the device. From there the kit plans for a full launch in time for holiday 2015. A number of indie developers have pledged to work on the device so far including the likes of Bossa Studios, Fireproof Games. Other developers are looking to get their hands on the device for the first time so that they can add HTC Vive support to their pre-existing Oculus Rift titles, or create entirely new content.

VRFocus will continue to follow SteamVR and the HTC Vive closely, reporting back with all of the latest updates on the system.

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