The official YouTube VR app has at long last made its way to Steam.
Earlier this week YouTube finally released their official VR app for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows VR platforms via SteamVR in one of the most low profile launches of 2017. The official solution to accessing the massive catalogue of 360 degree as well as 2D video content has already been available on various VR platforms like Google Daydream and PSVR since 2016, but this marks the first time the app will be available to SteamVR users.
However whereas YouTube VR for Daydream is a stellar app with an intuitive user interface, it’s Vive counterpart has a lot to be desired. Not being able to resize the 2D content theatre screen by dragging it closer or further away from you in the 3D space is a huge bummer. As is being forced to keep your controller vertical in order to render it transparent while watching content. Hell, some people are having trouble launching the app entirely. There’s a slew of other inconvenient features and bugs, but we’ll reserve final judgement until it’s official release. This is still in early access after all.
Still, it’s nice to finally have an easy solution to accessing the incredible YouTube catalogue in the level of quality provided by PC VR technology. Previously your only hope for enjoying YouTube’s fine selection of 2D and 360 degree videos on the Vive or Rift was through a variety of third-party apps or mods. Otherwise you were relegated to video collections from other providers.
Hopefully the most abhorrent of the issues are addressed quickly and the experience is brought to the same level of quality as it’s Daydream counterpart. The minimum PC specs required are also generously low which make it a go-to for those running on lower-end VR systems.
YouTube VR Early Access for SteamVR is available now for free.