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Well, news from SteamDevDays is starting to trickle into my feed and I will do my best to keep up with it all for you. First up is Steam VR which will finally support Linux and the big news is that it will use Vulkan to do it.

I am not at SteamDevDays due to it taking place in the US, and prices for flights and accommodation are way out of my price range right now (I've also seen that they don't allow press there too, so I couldn't even if I wanted to). So I am going off what I am seeing from all the developers I follow.

Steam VR runs on Linux with Vulkan #SteamDevDays

— Steam Spy (@Steam_Spy) October 12, 2016


This is interesting, as it's likely something was really holding up VR when it comes to OpenGL directly (most likely performance issues). They must have been waiting for Vulkan to reach a point where it was stable enough in drivers on Linux to be able to support it.

We also have this image of it running on Linux, thanks to Kevin Lee of AltspaceVR:
image

There has also been a talk about a new controller heading to the HTC Vive, thanks to Eva:
image

Steam has 1000 new VR users every day, so the growth of VR is there and people are buying the headsets. Once prices come down, you can expect that growth to keep increasing.

Valve is also trying to make VR as open a platform as they can (thanks Marty Caplan). They will be licensing the "Lighthouse positional tracking" so that means other companies can build positional tracking boxes. They are also investing in "standard component manufacturing so entire ecosystem has what is needed to prototype".

I've seen from many sources that Valve want their Lighthouse positional tracking to be as open as wifi. That's one way to win the VR wars!

This is all sounding really great, and is vastly different to the closed approach Facebook has been doing with the Rift.

Also, for the people who still don't think Valve is still invested in SteamOS, they have a Steam Machine area for people to test them out and play games:
imageimage
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Liam Dawe 12 Oct, 2016
Quoting: bubexelYes, they just have to rebuild the game with the vr libraries and vulkan. If it's build on unity or unreal, will be pretty easy. But unity with vulkan is just experimental. It will take a while.
Ah yeah good point, didn't even think about that. Since SteamVR will use Vulkan, of course all developers will need to publish new Linux builds.
SketchStick 12 Oct, 2016
Most games use Unity and Unreal, it should be a simple export and the Unity plugin is supported by Valve themselves.
https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/32647

Quoting: bubexelYes, they just have to rebuild the game with the vr libraries and vulkan. If it's build on unity or unreal, will be pretty easy. But unity with vulkan is just experimental. It will take a while.

As far as I'm aware the VR-Compositor is the only part that needs Vulkan for direct screen access, games can still use OpenGL to submit frames for the chaperone, distortion and display.
https://github.com/ValveSoftware/openvr/wiki/IVRCompositor_Overview
bubexel 12 Oct, 2016
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Quoting: SketchStickMost games use Unity and Unreal, it should be a simple export and the Unity plugin is supported by Valve themselves.
https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/32647

Quoting: bubexelYes, they just have to rebuild the game with the vr libraries and vulkan. If it's build on unity or unreal, will be pretty easy. But unity with vulkan is just experimental. It will take a while.

As far as I'm aware the VR-Compositor is the only part that needs Vulkan for direct screen access, games can still use OpenGL to submit frames for the chaperone, distortion and display.
https://github.com/ValveSoftware/openvr/wiki/IVRCompositor_Overview

oh, maybe you are right. I don't have enough info about it atm. I just saw a screenshot and guessing :D
sarmad 12 Oct, 2016
Valve was obviously waiting on Vulkan for pushing the entire SteamOS ecosystem, not just the VR part, which is understandable.
MaCroX95 12 Oct, 2016
Quoting: sarmadValve was obviously waiting on Vulkan for pushing the entire SteamOS ecosystem, not just the VR part, which is understandable.

I really hope that this is the case and that things will start growing again for the SteamOS and ultimately we will benefit much from that! :D
Swiftpaw 12 Oct, 2016
Saweeet!

Go Vulkan and Linux gaming!
ElectricPrism 13 Oct, 2016
Quoting: MaCroX95
Quoting: sarmadValve was obviously waiting on Vulkan for pushing the entire SteamOS ecosystem, not just the VR part, which is understandable.

I really hope that this is the case and that things will start growing again for the SteamOS and ultimately we will benefit much from that! :D

It's a avalanche, the deathball has already started to roll downhill and it's just gonna pickup speed and get bigger.

Gaming on a PC is the logical future as the OS is flexible, it's also logical that gaming will gravitate toward a platform where publishers don't have to jump through hoops in a walled garden controlled by control freaks who hold all the keys and can bully any % cut they want out of 3rd party sales.

Valve may control SteamOS, but on Linux -- publishers are truly free of any one entity controlling and ruining everything.

All controllers use common technology, I played Rocket League on Linux on my PS4 controller via bluetooth this week and it was sweet, XBONE, X360, PS3 Controller, Wii Pro Controller and more all work on SteamOS.

Expecting Steam Machines to be a overnight home-run is a fantasy created by Linux Advocates excited about Games on Linux taking off.

High Expectations Precede Disappointment.

Valve's approach to K/Oing PS4, XBONE, Wii is to gradually make their offering more appealing than their competitors - and touting 2500 games + Something like 600-1100 in the works, superior GL with Vulkan, etc... will win out in the long run.

AMDGPU and MESA also achieving a high level of maturity at this time will also make games more stable and steam machine costs drop as the new Polaris APU lowers costs.

It's a matter of time.

Now I'll transition to bitch about the Steam Controller and how I just realized this week that the Joystick and 4 Buttons were an afterthough -- if I hold the thing pretending that those don't exist it's much more comfortable.

Steam Controller looks like a headcrab strapped on top of a Xbox Controller with big O eyes.

I've been on a controller quest trying every controller I can, PS4, PS3, X360, XBONE, Logitech, Steelseries, Afterglow hoping to find 4 controllers for my Steam Machine, It'll probably be X360 or PS4 if they don't announce Steam Controller v2 during Steam Dev Days this week.

I really want there to be a Steam Controller V2, the current iteration seems like it REALLY needs to be tuned IMO, also - I had the dongle in my laptop in a backpack and because it sticks out so far it nearly broke the USB port getting moved around in my backpad, a smaller Steam Dongle would be nice too, and that UBS mount accessory built into every controller.

Also - why haven't I seen controller mods, and 3d Printed Shells for alternative colors available on eBay, and so on? Stickers for Controller Skins is pretty pathetic. Also get rid of that D Pad imprint, it should have been raised up instead of sunk in or left out completely.


Last edited by ElectricPrism on 13 October 2016 at 1:59 am UTC
chrisq 13 Oct, 2016
[quote=ElectricPrism][quote=MaCroX95]
Quoting: sarmadSteam Controller looks like a headcrab strapped on top of a Xbox Controller with big O eyes.

I've been on a controller quest trying every controller I can, PS4, PS3, X360, XBONE, Logitech, Steelseries, Afterglow hoping to find 4 controllers for my Steam Machine, It'll probably be X360 or PS4 if they don't announce Steam Controller v2 during Steam Dev Days this week.

I really want there to be a Steam Controller V2, the current iteration seems like it REALLY needs to be tuned IMO, also - I had the dongle in my laptop in a backpack and because it sticks out so far it nearly broke the USB port getting moved around in my backpad, a smaller Steam Dongle would be nice too, and that UBS mount accessory built into every controller.

Also - why haven't I seen controller mods, and 3d Printed Shells for alternative colors available on eBay, and so on? Stickers for Controller Skins is pretty pathetic. Also get rid of that D Pad imprint, it should have been raised up instead of sunk in or left out completely.


Nah.
The Steam controller is magnificent, the best and most versatile controller on the market.

Is it the best controller for all games?
Of course not, no controller is, but it is easily the controller that is the best for the most games and good/passable for a huge number of others.

It plays first person games better than any controller, it plays huge amounts of mouse based games that can't be played with other controllers, and it's everything from passable to fantastic on games that require a gamepad.

Did I forget that it is also the most configurable controller ever, letting you fix unfitting or bad control schemes easily? No more joy2key or similar.

I agree that a v2 would be great though, the only thing that can beat the steam controller is an updated version of itself.
skinnyraf 13 Oct, 2016
Steam Controller reviews tend to focus on unboxing and early impressions. Many people discard it after a few hours of trying to use it like a PS4/Xbox controller. Check out this in-depth review - though if you have the controller, you might want to skip the description of the hardware:

View video on youtube.com
Pecisk 13 Oct, 2016
Considering VR requirements, Valve going directly to Vulkan and skipping OpenGL entirely makes sense. This also enables them to do same thing on Windows without much pain for developers. It seems Valve just ignore outside world again and do their own thing, building their platform fundamentally and properly. You won't such attitude in many companies these days.
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