What SteamVR integration means for Windows Mixed Reality

Windows Mixed Reality has been opened up to SteamVR thanks to a free preview app, and it's bringing a lot of changes to the platform we've been so far enjoying. These changes definitely seem to bode well for WMR, and will no doubt attract a lot more people thanks to a ton of extra content.

SteamVR is bringing more games and apps to Windows Mixed Reality

Windows Mixed Reality games on Microsoft Store

At launch, the Microsoft Store had about 40 Windows Mixed Reality apps and games, and that number has grown each day since release. Some games included are AAA offerings like Arizona Sunshine and Space Pirate Trainer, as well as the always-popular video apps Littlstar and Jaunt VR.

Most of the games and apps found in the Microsoft Store can also be found within Steam, but there's a whole lot of content waiting to be discovered on the latter platform. SteamVR is set up to handle Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and OSVR platforms, and the amount of VR experiences already living there is really quite impressive. A quick search on the Steam store brings up thousands of VR apps.

SteamVR store page

Not all of these VR apps will be 100 percent compatible with WMR right off the bat — you might have some issues with motion controllers or other tracking — and it appears to be mostly up to developers at this point whether they fix any issues that arise with WMR. Fully compatible or not, you'll still be able to get your hands on the likes of popular titles such as Rec Room, Google Earth VR, and The Lab, and the huge offering of Early Access titles like Onward, BAM VR, and Pavlov VR should be available.

The sheer amount of content coming our way is something to be excited about, and it will no doubt add a significant amount of players to games we've already been playing on the Rift and Vive.

SteamVR is making it easier to connect with friends in Windows Mixed Reality

In the Cliff House, where you'll launch the SteamVR app

If you already live in the Steam ecosystem, there's a good chance you have a long list of friends and acquaintances who would like to game or experience awesome VR apps alongside you. Instead of having to transfer those people over to a new platform from Steam, you'll be able to meet up with them in WMR.

VR with friends is a ton of fun — we've already have plenty of time with the Rift and Vive — and Steam is one of the best platforms out there when it comes to gaming. Not only will you be able to keep in touch with old friends, you'll no doubt be making new friends as well as you spend time in SteamVR.

SteamVR will make it easier for cross-platform play in Windows Mixed Reality

Joining our friends in Rift and Vive is going to be much easier!

Since SteamVR already supports Rift and Vive, there are plenty of players already in those games. Opening it up to WMR is only going to add the playerbase of these games, effectively making cross-platform multiplayer much more feasible.

Add in the fact that WMR takes a less beefy PC to run, and we should see a lot more people populating some of our favorite cross-platform VR games, like Raw Data, EVE: Valkyrie, and Werewolves Within.

Windows Mixed Reality makes using SteamVR much easier

This partnership isn't just a one-way street. WMR is offering Steam a bunch of new customers ready to fill libraries with games and experiences.

Using Windows Mixed Reality

As it stands now, setting up SteamVR isn't too much of a hassle with either the Rift or Vive. However, both of these platforms have sensors that must be set up and tested before you can properly use either headset.

WMR has no sensor setup to worry about and is pretty much just plug and play. The attractive nature of a quick and painless setup, coupled with the magnitude of what SteamVR has to offer, really seems like it will be a winning combination for a lot of people. Expect some of the grumblings about "overcomplication" to die down.

Are you excited for SteamVR and Windows Mixed Reality?

Have you been waiting patiently for SteamVR integration since the release of WMR? What game or experience are you going to try first? Let us know in the comments section!

Also, be sure to check out these other resources when it comes to WMR.

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