Epic Games has just published their roadmap for Unreal Engine 4 according to which, the world's most popular game development engine will add support for Valve's SteamVR platform – read HTC's Vive headset – as early as next month. The roadmap also says that they are looking forward to add new features for Sony's much talked about 'Project Morpheus' headset as well. It is worth remembering here that Unreal Engine 4 already supports Oculus Rift and Gear VR. What this new announcement means, is that UE4 will now have support for all the major virtual reality platforms either already out in the market, or in their final stages of development, to be launched over the next few months. Both Epic and their biggest competitor Unity, had already announced support for Oculus Rift in 2012 itself, when the project was still in its embryonic stage. Between the two of them, they power almost all games available on VR platforms as of now.
Virtual reality is being viewed in many quarters as the next frontier of entertainment and many companies, big and small are jumping into the fray trying to introduce the killer product which will differentiate them from the rest. Towards that end, Samsung has been developing their Gear VR headset, developed in association with Oculus and HTC showed off their Vive headset, developed in association with Valve Corporation, as part of their SteamVR platform. Then there's the small matter of Sony's Morpheus headset as well. But more than the hardware, it will be the content available on a particular platform, that will decide who will walk away with the honors when the dust settles. This is where both content developers as well as hardware manufacturers will need support from one another and VR enthusiasts will no doubt be overjoyed at the fact, that the biggest online game distributor, Steam, and the most popular game development engine, Unreal Engine, have both embraced VR with open arms.
What all this means for the end consumer is that by this time next year, in all probability they will be spoilt for choice with multiple titles available to make immersive gaming experience a reality.