Valve brings some VR information back to SteamVR
Valve has added some VR information back.
Update December 15, 2022:
Valve is reaching out to the VR community by adding two more VR tags to the general game properties, "VR Only" and "Supports VR."
— T0X1N (@TheToxinOne) December 14, 2022
The latest Steam change shows what Valve really thinks of VR
Valve has removed the VR info line that provides details on VR support for games. SteamVR is thus further marginalized.
Previously, each VR title's store page displayed which VR headsets, VR controllers, and VR game modes (sitting, standing, room-filling) were supported. VR users could search Steam by these categories to find VR games that matched their hardware and preference.
This info line and search functions are now history. The only category that remains is "Tracked Motion Controller Support" (in understandable terms: VR controllers), which is now listed in the general game properties.
Details about VR support are now listed under the system requirements and are no longer registered by the Steam search. You can now only search for titles that support VR or are VR-exclusive.
Valve moved all the VR games to the "Tracked Motion Controller Support" Category, and now also completely removed the entire VR Support Section from Apps.
Who knows what silent changes will be made next ? pic.twitter.com/0VD4gGJdnU
- Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) December 7, 2022
Valve confirms the change
This change caused displeasure among PC VR fans and developers who sell VR games on Steam. Developers were not informed and the system requirements were filled in automatically and sometimes incorrectly, said Anton Hand, the creator of the popular PC VR game Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades.
Valve was prompted by the negative reactions to issue a statement via Twitter, but it only confirmed the change. "VR has come a long way since the release of the Vive and Rift, and many games now work with a variety of headsets," Valve wrote.
Developers can now use the "System Requirements" section to say whatever they need to about the specific requirements of their game.
- SteamVR (@SteamVR) December 8, 2022
Some VR enthusiasts had hoped for an entirely new VR info line, similar to the Steam deck compatibility line. But according to Valve's statements, an alternative, better system is rather not to be expected.
VR is still a niche on Steam
By banishing the VR info to the small-print Steam section, virtual reality loses prominence on the platform.
It's true that the medium has evolved in terms of headset support. Thanks to Valve's OpenXR implementation, most VR games today work with a wide variety of hardware.
Steam has plenty of niche sub-communities of gamers:
Mac OSX: 2.45%
It's great to support them!
But it's also kinda funny when any of these groups expect to be treated as a major target of interest by Valve directly (aside from maybe SteamDeck)
- JustDaven (@JayHadHope) December 4, 2022
Steam's VR gaming section has made little progress in another respect: economically. Only about two percent of Steam users have VR headsets connected to their PC, and that percentage has stagnated in recent years. That's not a good result considering Steam's user base is actually growing steadily.
VR is still a niche on Steam after almost seven years, comparable to MacOSX and Linux. And it is exactly this circumstance that Valve considers with its latest Steam change.