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Mozilla Agrees to Make Steam Native VR Browser with Valve Partnership

The company is taking a leap into the future of mixed reality by aiming to offer new experiences. Firefox Reality, the standalone mixed reality (MR) browser, is set to be available to gamers soon. This is a move that will be undertaken as part of a new partnership of Mozilla with the video game distribution company Valve. Valve currently offers over 23,000 games on Steam, its gaming platform.

Firefox Reality, the mixed reality-based browser, was launched in April 2018 by Mozilla. It is a full-fledged independent web browser which offers compatibility for most dedicated augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.

The partnership will offer all features of Firefox Reality to Steam gamers who own their own virtual reality and augmented headsets. The browser can be accessed by gamers whilst enjoying a virtual reality session of one of the many games available on the Steam platform.

Andre Vrignaud, Head of Mixed Reality Platform Strategy, gave his comments regarding the development in a recent blog post. He explained that by performing just a few clicks, gamers will be able to fully gain access to content on the Internet. Some of the probable uses are finding guides and tips for games or performing Twitch streaming of a game session. All of this can be done without having to leave the immersive experience.

Vrignaud also revealed how users can get started, saying that it will take just a single Firefox account log-in to gain access. Upon logging in, all Firefox browser cookies and bookmarks will be synced within the virtual reality space of the browser.

The initial announcement made by Mozilla for Firefox Reality in a blog spoke regarding the future of MR. It stated that technology will mainly be focused on creating experiences for users instead of just the construction of applications.

Firefox Reality is an open source offering from Mozilla, and manufacturers have the ability to use the browser within their own platforms. This mixed reality-based browser from Firefox will is one of the earliest to incorporate WebVR. The WebVR standard streamlines content creation for web URL display. Users can access it either through a standardised device or a virtual reality headset.

The partnership of Valve and Mozilla was made on the very same day when the gaming giant made an announcement regarding Valve Index, its own virtual reality-based headset. Index from Valve is a dual 1440×160 LCD RGB display virtual reality headset. According to the company’s claim, it will be able to operate at a frequency of 120Hz and will have backward compatibility of 90Hz.

Index is being designed as a headset dedicated to gaming applications. As a result, aspects like the field of view and frame rate are key priorities for Valve.

The company made a statement regarding the development of its Index VR headset. It elaborated that the most suitable way to enhance the field of view was by bringing optics really close to one’s eyes. The headset is yet another considerable development that will provide enhanced immersive experiences to users.


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