With every mega-corporation and their mega-dog throwing fat sacks of cash at Virtual Reality right now, and a multitude of headsets available, it’s easy to forget that nobody really has any idea what they’re doing right now. While consensus on how to advance headset technology seems to be fairly universal, every company seems to have their own idea of how to control things in virtual space. Valve’s stopgap solution until folks can agree on stuff is SteamVR Input, a unified control-binding system for (quelle surprise) SteamVR.
To access SteamVR input, people are going to have to opt-in to the current SteamVR beta, as described here. As the system works directly through the SteamVR API, it should be compatible with all current controllers, plus any that haven’t been released yet. It’s also a major perk for any requiring advanced control rebinding for accessibility reasons. Valve have provided tools for developers to officially integrate SteamVR Input binding into their games, too.
Support for SteamVR Input rebinding also extends beyond any options within games themselves, so it should let you override any control setup you find less than ideal, and should help force older, less updated VR games into more modern accepted interface standards. As with all other Steam Input stuff, you can save, export and share your control profiles with other users. It’s all good design, and really hard to find fault in.
The Steam Input API (for non-VR folks) recently added official support for the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which due to its nicely sensitive tilt controls make a good alternative to Valve’s own Steam controller for more traditional games that could better use an analogue stick or two in place of touchpads. It’s nice to be officially leaving the dark ages of clashing controller standards – nowadays everything is just USB or Bluetooth, and increasingly universally bindable.