PC software distribution service Steam already stocks over 1,600 virtual reality games and is now branching out into video, with film tie-ins "The Hunger Games 360," "Alien Covenant in Utero" and "Lego Batman: The Batmersive Experience" leading its initial line-up.
Valve Corporation, owner and operator of the Steam computer games platform, is teaming up with fellow Seattle native Pixvana to launch the Steam 360 Video Player for high-powered PCs.
In doing so, it is joining Facebook and YouTube in supporting 360 video, while Pixvana's SPIN platform is specifically created for use with Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream products in addition to the PC's established Vive and Rift VR headsets.
The virtual reality experience arriving in advance of Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror "Alien: Covenant" is one of eight launch titles for the video player.
In the feature film sphere, "Alien Covenant in Utero" is accompanied by "The Lego Batman Movie" tie-in "The Batmersive Experience" and a franchise recap for "The Hunger Games."
Pixvana is providing its own showreel, the "360 Production Series," which includes content from the Seattle Sounders soccer team and the Pacific Northwest Ballet, while long-running game-based comedy "Red vs Blue," using sets and characters from the "Halo" franchise to power its outings, is also present with a 360° episode.
"A Challenge" is a 5 minute short inspired by the Stockholm Syndrome, "The Blank Canvas" investigates biotechnology with a to-scale journey into DNA editing and virus modification, and virtual reality company Jaunt provides rainforest tour "Under the Canopy."
Though the Steam 360 Video Player streams content from online servers, computers still need to meet general minimum requirements for powering a virtual reality headset like the Steam-partnered HTC Vive, Facebook's Oculus Rift: Steam currently recommends a 64-bit Windows 10 PC equipped with at least 4GB RAM, an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 graphics card, and a 15Mbps internet connection.