SteamVR Puts Windows Mixed Reality Over the Top

SteamVR Puts Windows Mixed Reality Over the Top
OK, it will never look this good. But DOOM VFR arrives today.

The arrival of SteamVR compatibility makes Windows Mixed Reality a far less risky investment. This is a great addition, and Steam’s content store is excellent.

I’d not used SteamVR before. But it’s clear in doing so that the virtual home that Microsoft uses as a Start experience for Windows Mixed Reality was inspired by the similar home-based SteamVR experience.

The trick, of course, is connecting those two virtual homes. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely seamless: After installing the free Windows Mixed Reality app for SteamVR, you run the Mixed Reality Portal as you normally would. Then, from the desktop, you run the Windows Mixed Reality app to access your SteamVR home.

Alternatively, you can simply run individual apps too. But I wish these were setup in your Windows Mixed Reality automatically. Going back and forth like this is a bit awkward.

But it is also totally worth it.

And the reason is simple: SteamVR has far more high-quality games. This isn’t ding on Microsoft, per se: Windows Mixed Reality just launched. But once you get past the handful of top-tier games—basically Arizona Sunshine, Superhot, and maybe just a few others—you just, ahem, run out of steam quickly.

But step over into the SteamVR store and it’s like Christmas morning. Doom VFR will be available starting later today—I cannot wait—but there is a whole library of games that I am interested in, including those two titles I mentioned above, Fallout VR, GORN, Serious Sam (a personal favorite), Batman: Arkham VR, and many, many more.

Despite the rough edges in this integration, I’d say that Windows Mixed Reality is a safe bet for gamers now, for sure. I’m still not quite sold on the non-gaming uses, however, and am unsure whether things like 360 degree videos will have any particular staying power with users. But with SteamVR support, Windows Mixed Reality takes a huge leap forward.


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Conversation 13 comments

  • MikeGalos

    30 November, 2017 - 12:41 pm

    <p>And <strong>that</strong> is how you get momentum for a new platform. You partner with people already out there both in hardware (as was already done by creating a reference and letting them do the implementation) and in software as we see with Steam.</p><p>That's the same formula that Microsoft used to get the GUI from fringe market to universal standard.</p>

  • rbwatson0

    Premium Member
    30 November, 2017 - 3:39 pm

    <p>Ok Paul, now we just need you to test every MR headset to tell us which one is the best, before Christmas. Shouldn't be too hard.</p>

  • Roger Ramjet

    30 November, 2017 - 8:25 pm

    <p>Two positive stories on AR/VR by Paul Thurrott in 1 day. I guess you are no longer taking bets on which landfill the gear will end up in in 18 months?</p>

    • Tony Barrett

      01 December, 2017 - 6:19 am

      <blockquote><a href="#223266"><em>In reply to Roger Ramjet:</em></a></blockquote><p>No, any landfill will do. It won't make any difference for the average consumer though as they won't buy into it anyway.</p>

  • fbman

    01 December, 2017 - 12:21 am

    <p>Looks interesting, but I will wait for the technology to mature first, wait for 2nd or 3rd generation devices to come out.</p>

  • allanwith

    01 December, 2017 - 1:44 am

    <p>Hey Paul, could you try LibreVR/ReVive which lets you run Oculus Rift specific games on HTC Vive and by extension ought to work with Windows Mixed Reality? Robo Recall :)</p><p><br></p><p>What are the hardware requirements for running Steam on WMR? I read somewhere that a GeForce 1070 would be minimum, even if SteamVR normally should run well on a 1060 with the Vive.</p>

  • mortarm

    07 December, 2017 - 12:31 pm

    <p>&gt;…Serious Sam (a personal favorite),</p><p>Oh yeah, great game, and getting "I Wanna Rock" as the intro tune was icing on the cake.</p>


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