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Gamescope (used on Steam Deck) adds in some VR support

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What are you up to Valve? Gamescope, software used on the Steam Deck for Gaming Mode that handles displaying everything recently had some VR work pulled in. Perhaps for the upcoming Deckard VR HMD?

Pointed out by Brad Lynch on Twitter, it's certainly raising a few eyebrows. On the GitHub page the code merge request titled "vr_session: Initial implementation" was pulled into Gamescope 2 days ago and the question is — why?

Thanks to many different sources (like Lynch above), we've known for a while that Valve appear to be working on a new VR HMD code-named Deckard. One that will seemingly support wireless play without it needing to be attached to a PC, but also supporting being connected to a PC to run games that need more power. The standalone mode will no doubt run Linux, and perhaps this Gamescope work is progress towards that end.

It could also be completely unrelated of course.

What do you think Valve are up to?

Valve have been on a bit of a roll lately getting Proton into a pretty incredible state for running Windows games on Linux, releasing the Steam Deck powered by SteamOS Linux, over 7,000 games now rated at least Playable for Steam Deck, the HDR teasers (#1, #2), breaking their own records, getting Steam into Tesla vehicles and so much more.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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17 comments
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Ardje 14 Jan
Gamescope is just a generic layer. So yes, it will have support for VR on the deck if that support is needed in Gamescope. It would be foolish to have a VR specific build of gamescope, because then you will have 2 versions to maintain.
I mean: the deck has also support for iscsi, fcoe, dj controllers. It would be foolish to step away too far from a vanilla setup because it is hard to maintain.
The only special thing about the linux kernel is that it has patches for the deck that are not yet in vanilla.
So why would they make seperate builds for gamescope.
If anything: we now know that deckard runs linux and gamescope (we already knew it runs linux, now we know it runs gamescope too).
I wish gamescope became so generic (It can't because it uses vulkan standards that they have yet to submit as a standard), that I already could run it on my desktop.
Mrowl 14 Jan
Could be Deckard related, or simply them getting VR to work smoothly with Steam OS. If they want Steam OS to be a viable alternative to Windows for gaming, they need to get VR working properly with it.

It would be a great way to showcase PCVR at events or at VR arcades as well. It would make the experience a bit more simple, like PSVR, without having to deal with the jank of windows.
mr-victory 14 Jan
Quoting: ArdjeIt can't because it uses vulkan standards that they have yet to submit as a standard
Do you have source for that?
WMan22 14 Jan
VR support, as in proper VR support, is the ONE final thing tying me down to Windows. I can give up some anticheat games, I can't give up VR. So any progress on this front is greatly appreciated beyond a means that words can describe.

Edit: It just occurred to me after I made this comment that adding Gamescope may be a prelude to getting Motion Smoothing working within SteamVR, since after all, if they can have special stuff like HDR working inside of it, maybe they can do that too. Exciting.


Last edited by WMan22 on 14 January 2023 at 6:33 pm UTC
mphuZ 14 Jan
This is for SteamOS, not for Deckard.
Quoting: mphuZThis is for SteamOS, not for Deckard.

And what flavour of Linux do you think Deckard will run in standalone mode?
mphuZ 14 Jan
Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mphuZThis is for SteamOS, not for Deckard.

And what flavour of Linux do you think Deckard will run in standalone mode?

Of course, but what does that have to do with this?
Because of some trifle, intrigues are woven. The development of SteamOS as a whole is much more important for Linux than the focus on a single device.
einherjar 14 Jan
I hope, that VR on Linux gets some love and gets in a good shape.
I would like to buy an Index, but for that much money, it must work properly.
Orkultus 14 Jan
We need to get some decent Linux native VR titles as well. I know we can run some with proton, but i think the performance could suffer a lot if it wasn't native.
slaapliedje 14 Jan
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Quoting: rustybroomhandle
Quoting: mphuZThis is for SteamOS, not for Deckard.

And what flavour of Linux do you think Deckard will run in standalone mode?
As long as you can hook into it and dream of electric sheep!
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