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HTC Vive gets another major backer in Virtual Reality race

Epic Games, the makers of Unreal Engine 4 gaming development tool, has indicated it will begin supporting the Steam VR platform and, by extension, the HTC Vive Headset.

In a newly-updated product roadmap for UE4, Epic says it is working on “Steam VR How-To” documentation with delivery expected in May.

Epic already supports existing players in the VR market, the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, as well as Sony’s Project Morpheus.

Epic is positioning Unreal Engine 4 as the go-to development tool for VR gaming and an alliance with the HTC Vive is sure to see a host of titles arrive on the headset.

Meanwhile, Epic is also upping the VR ante when it comes to Project Morpheus, with the Road to VR website (via Engadget) suggesting the company will bring support for the 120Hz visuals offered by the newest prototype headset.

Read more: Oculus Rift vs Project Morpheus

Earlier this year Epic made its Unreal Engine 4 tools available to software developers for free. The company had charged a monthly subscription free for devs making use of the kit, but it is now only charging a 5 per cent royalty once games have become successful.

“The state of Unreal is strong, and we’ve realised that as we take away barriers, more people are able to fulfil their creative visions and shape the future of the medium we love,” Sweeney continues. “That’s why we’re taking away the last barrier to entry, and going free.”

This ease of access may encourage developers to take a real shot at creating Virtual Reality experiences, knowing there’s less financial risk involved if the game proves unsuccessful.

The HTC Vive headset, which is now being given away freely to developers, is one of the greatest hopes for the future of VR.

Many hands-on reviews, including our own, have raved about the early prototype as it seeks to compete with the Oculus Rift.

Our own VR gaming expert thinks that the Vive has what it takes to win the VR war. What do you think? Share your comments below.

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