April 30, 2015

Unreal Engine 4 Releases With SteamVR Support

By Dana Cowley

Epic Games is shipping official support for Valve’s SteamVR with next week’s first preview release of Unreal Engine 4.8. Anyone can download Unreal Engine 4 for free, access the source code, and create projects for SteamVR.

Unreal Engine 4 enables developers to consistently deploy high-fidelity, high frame rate experiences across all major VR platforms. SteamVR with Unreal Engine 4 is plug-and-play, and with the full advantage of features such as room-scale VR, input, and Lighthouse, Valve’s laser-based tracking solution.

SteamVR is completely integrated into Unreal Engine 4 across Blueprint visual scripting and native code, so projects can be built without dependency on programmer support if desired. 

“Epic is once again taking a leadership position in the technology solution space by embracing the industry-wide momentum toward VR,” said Gabe Newell of Valve. “With SteamVR integrated into its engine tech, Epic is making it that much easier for Unreal Engine developers to be successful.”

“This technology is incredibly freeing,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic. “There is a magical sense of immersion in walking around a VR space and directly interacting with it.”

“Epic's Unreal Engine has helped developers build incredibly realistic 3D games and applications for nearly two decades, and now with integrated SteamVR support for HTC Vive, devs can use the same familiar Unreal Engine to build mind-blowing new VR experiences,” said Dan O'Brien, Executive Director for HTC Vive, HTC Corp. “When Unreal Engine 4 devs need to build immersive VR environments, they have the industry's best VR platform and experience at their disposal.”

As one of the first studios to work with the SteamVR dev kit, Epic already has a proven track record of ensuring Unreal Engine 4’s compatibility with Valve’s SDK. Epic’s Showdown can already be experienced on SteamVR using the HTC Vive headset. In addition, Dovetail Games’ upcoming fishing simulation, Dovetail Games Fishing, is a UE4-powered experience recently demonstrated in Valve’s booth during the Game Developer’s Conference.

“We work closely with Valve to ensure Unreal Engine 4 is highly optimized for the latest SteamVR features, with particular focus on minimized latency,” said Nick Whiting, lead engineer at Epic Games. “Epic is continuously in step with VR upgrades and innovations, so UE4 developers are set up for success in creating awesome experiences right out of the box.”

Epic Games Senior Technical Artist and Designer Alan Willard and Epic Games Community Manager Chance Ivey will be on hand to support developers in the first Room-Scale Vive VR Jam on May 9-10 and Room-Scale Vive VR Demo Night on May 11 in Austin, Texas.

For more information on Unreal Engine for VR, visit unrealengine.com/vr.

Developed by Epic Games, the Unreal Engine brings high-fidelity experiences to PC, console, mobile, the Web and VR. Unreal Engine accelerates the creation of games, applications, visualizations and cinematic content. Download Unreal Engine for free at unrealengine.com, and follow @UnrealEngine for updates.