Valve has loosened the retirements for hardware manufacturers to license its SteamVR position tracking hardware by both dropping the hefty $3,000 training fee and making good on earlier promises to offer the mandated course remotely.
While the royalty-free licensing program is more aimed at those creating new hardware for use in virtual reality spaces, lowering the barrier of entry for hardware manufacturers potentially expands the possibilities for game developers looking to work with less traditional controllers or VR-tracked accessories.
Previously, those interested in getting their hands on the room-scale tech were required to pay $3,000 to attend a training program in Seattle, Washington. Following this recent change, interested manufacturers will be still able to attend the in-person course if they so choose, but the coursework will also be available for free online in both English and Chinese.
So far, over 500 third-party companies have licensed the room-scale technology since Valve started offering royalty-free licensing of SteamVR last August. Going forward, those wanting to develop a SteamVR-compatible perphriphal—be it a new headset, controller, or accesory— will just need to follow the instructions of Valve’s website to signup as a Steam Partner, obtain the license, and access the SteamVR Tracking HDK.
Full details on that process, as well as a brief breakdown fo the technology itself, can be found on Valve's SteamVR site.