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Valve has been hard at work developing the controller for its new line of Steam Machines, but it looks like gamers will have more than just a mouse and keyboard as an alternative. According to the BBC, Valve will release a VR software interface kit that will allow developers to make games that seamlessly interface with consumer VR technology — the obvious choice being the Oculus Rift.
The kit, which BBC reports will be a part of a larger “tool box” available to developers for the Steam Machine, will be released during Steam Dev Days, an event scheduled for January 14 and 15. It’s unclear whether further tools in that kit will allow for new or custom inputs for games other than a VR experience, but it’s likely that the Steam Machine will have VR games ready soon after its launch.
While the kit itself is designed for the broader umbrella of VR technology, it’s also a culmination of the relationship that Valve has carried on with the folks at Oculus VR. The companies have worked closely together since the Oculus Rift started getting traction, and Valve’s Team Fortress 2 was one of the early demos for the system. Valve programmer Joe Ludwig even led a special talk at the 2013 Games Developer Conference (GDC), detailing the struggles of implementing VR and the value in its future.
Of course, there’s also rumors that Valve’s relationship with Oculus and its interest in VR will actually culminate in the development of a proprietary VR headset. It’s not too far out of the realm of possibility, considering that Valve has been not-so-secretly exploring VR hardware for the last couple of years (including hiring valuable hardware personnel). But whether it’s for a new headset or the Oculus Rift, there will be a console that supports VR very early in its life cycle, and that’s very promising for the trend overall.