American video game developer Valve’s SteamVR software, as of its latest beta release, can now add floating desktop windows inside Virtual Reality games, letting users keep an eye on other apps without leaving VR. This is a helpful addition, allowing players to keep an eye on anything from Discord, to a Twitch chat, or Netflix during a lower-intensity game. According to The Verge, users can even watch YouTube during longer flights in games like ‘Elite Dangerous’.
The ability to interact with the rest of your desktop from within SteamVR’s dashboard is not a new feature, but recently Valve has been making the system more flexible. Earlier this year it added the option to view individual application windows in the dashboard and to be virtually attached to VR controllers in-game.
This made apps viewable at a glance, but until now it lacked the ability to float windows persistently in-game. With this latest release, users can still opt to have a window attached to their controller or pull it off to have it float in virtual space.
The windows are view-only while the user is actually playing a game, but they can open up the SteamVR menu to interact with the windows using a VR controller as a mouse pointer. The new floating windows are available as of version 1.19.6 of SteamVR. As per The Verge, this version of the software is currently available in beta, but it’s relatively easy to opt-in via SteamVR’s properties window, accessible by right-clicking it in the Steam games list.
Despite all the new features being added to the VR platform, there’s still no sign of version 2.0 of SteamVR that Valve teased early last year. (ANI)
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