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SteamVR Adds Desktop Overlay and Background Sharing

Arriving just ahead of Vive itself.

It’s not long now until just about anyone can enjoy the benefits of SteamVR, a platform that’s restricted to developers and enthusiasts with their hands on virtual reality (VR) kit at present. HTC and Valve’s anticipated head-mounted display (HMD), the HTC Vive, goes on sale from 5th April 2016, opening up the service to many more people. Ahead of that launch, Valve has this week announced two major new additions to the SteamVR service. These include a new Desktop Overlay and SteamVR background sharing.


Both items were introduced in a new blog post from Valve. The Steam Desktop Overlay will let users access their standard desktop from within VR itself. When you need to access web pages and other software you can bring up a giant desktop screen and navigate through it using the HTC Vive controllers. It’s built into Steam itself and you’ll be able to access it by pressing the system button located on a HTC Vive controller.

The more unique of the two additions is background sharing by the SteamVR Workshop. This essentially means that users can create 360 degree environments that will appear when using SteamVR itself, and then share them online. Other users will be able to download and use these images for their own backgrounds and rate them so others can get an idea of their quality. Selecting different areas is done via the VR Dashboard.

Check back with VRFocus for the latest on SteamVR.

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