The SteamVR Beta build is introducing a new way to handle controller layouts for the benefit of users and developers.
By this point there are a lot of different ways to take control of virtual reality (VR) in SteamVR. In fact, there are so many options that it can be hard for developers to keep up. Recognising this problem, Steam are introducing a new Input System to SteamVR Beta.
In order to support all the existing varieties of VR controller, the new SteamVR input system will allow users to build their own custom binding configurations for their favourite VR videogames and apps.
The advantage of the new input system is that it is capable of supporting even controllers which have not yet been developed. In addition, the control schemes can take into account users who are left-handed, or have a disability, or simply those who prefer a particular layout.
The new input system also makes life easier for developers, who will be able to more easily adapt to a broader range of controllers. Developers will be able to control the default bindings for each controller type, and can offer alternative control schemed directly without needing to directly update every titles they have created.
This support is built into SteamVR and will work on every SteamVR application, even if the developer responsible for the title has not yet upgraded to the new system. This is all accessible using a UI that can be found through the headset under the Settings menu.
Furthermore, with the new SteamVR input system, hardware designers are no longer constrained by existing controller paradigms in order to stay compatible with SteamVR and are free to explore new designs and layouts, and then tell the SteamVR system about the layout.
To enable to new system, users need to opt-in to the Beta build of SteamVR by visiting the Properties menu in the main Steam application. Developers can visit the Github page to learn how to enable native support in their applications.
The SteamVR team are eager to hear feedback from the community on the new system.