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Valve collaborates on new Unity SteamVR support and tools

Unity kicks off its first-ever VR conference in Hollywood today by announcing a collaboration with Valve that will see Unity 5 enhanced with native SteamVR support and a new SteamVR rendering plug-in.

Unity is kicking off its first-ever VR conference in Hollywood today by announcing a collaboration with Valve that will see Unity 5 enhanced with native SteamVR support and a new SteamVR rendering plug-in.

This effectively means Unity has come full-circle on support for major VR platforms, as the company's eponymous engine already supports developers building games to the Oculus Rift, Samsung's Gear VR and the PlayStation VR headsets.

Of course, Unity was already being used to create demos for the HTC Vive, SteamVR's flagship headset, something Valve frontman Gabe Newell noted in a video address to attendees of the aforementioned conference.

"We made many of our Vive demos using Unity, and continue to use it today in VR development," stated Newell. "Through that process, and in working with VR developers, we found some opportunities to make Unity even more robust and powerful for us and really want to share those benefits with all VR content creators."

Further details on the new SteamVR rendering plug-in are scant at the moment, though newly-minted Valve engineer Zach Barth (TIS-100Infinifactory) is expected to give a talk at the conference this evening about how Valve uses Unity with SteamVR.

Oh, and incidentally, the Valve-Unity partnership also resulted in every developer attending the conference this week receiving a free HTC Vive Pre dev kit (pictured). So that's nice.

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