Valve issued a press release earlier this week revealing that their SteamVR Desktop software, very similar to the BigScreen app we reported previously, will be showcased during GDC 2016 this week, allow users to play non-VR games on VR systems. No screenshots or videos accompanied the press release, only placing the idea of how such a feature could work with VR systems.
“SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode is in early beta, and will be showcased at next week’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco. Desktop Theater Mode enables users to play non-VR games with VR systems such as the upcoming HTC Vive and others.”
Fast forward to GDC 2016 and Valve have demoed the technology at their booth, giving more insight into how it may work.
SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode does exactly just that – a virtual environment in a virtual home theatre with a large display to play your Steam titles on. Valve says that any game that runs above 30 frames per second can be outputted to this large virtual display and you can even pull up the Steam Overlay within the VR environment.
The SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode seems to work more like a virtual desktop, just like the BigScreen app previously mentioned, meaning it’s not just limited to Steam games, and really anything displayed on your Desktop can be sent to the HTC Vive. It’s unclear as to if Valve plan to release their SteamVR Desktop Theater Mode to other VR platforms outside of the Vive.