2 min read

SteamVR announced new controllers adding accessibility features to the Virtual reality ecosystem. The SteamVR input system, lets you build controller bindings for any game, “even for controllers that didn’t exist when the game was written”, says Valve’s Joe Ludwig in a Steam forum post. What this essentially means is that any past, present or future game can hypothetically add support for any SteamVR compatible controller.

SteamVR controllers

Source: Steam community

Supported controllers include the XBox One gamepad, Vive Tracker, Oculus Touch, and motion controllers for HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets.

The key-binding system of the SteamVR input system allows users to build binding configurations. Users can adapt the controls of games to take into account user behavior such as left-handedness, a disability, or personal preference. These configurations can also be shared easily with other users of the same game via the Steam Workshop.

For developers, the new SteamVR input system means easier adaptation of games to diverse controllers.

  • Developers entirely control the default bindings for each controller type.
  • They can also offer alternate control schemes directly without the need to change the games themselves.
  • SteamVR Input works with every SteamVR application; it doesn’t require developers to update their app to support it.
  • Hardware designers are also free to try more types of input, apart from Vive Tracker, Oculus Touch etc. They can expose whatever input controls exist on their device and then describe that device to the system.

Most importantly, the entire mechanism is captured in an easy to use UI that is available in-headset under the Settings menu.

SteamVR UI

Source: Steam community

For now, SteamVR Input is in beta. Details for developers are available on the OpenVR SDK 1.0.15 page. You can also see the documentation to enable native support in your applications. Hardware developers can read the driver API documentation to see how they can enable this new system for their devices.

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