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Mozilla Agrees Partnership with Valve to Make its VR Browser Native to Steam

"The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences."

By CBR Staff Writer

Mozilla wants its dedicated mixed reality browser, Firefox Reality, to go right to gamer’s heads, via a new collaboration with digital video game distributor Valve, which provides over 23,000 games via its platform Steam.

Firefox Reality was launched by Mozilla in April of 2018, as a completely independent web browser designed from the ground up to work across all stand-alone virtual and augmented reality headsets.

Now under the partnership, gamers on Steam will be able to install Firefox Reality, allowing them to access its browser while they are in the middle of a VR gaming session on one of its plethora of games.

Andre Vrignaud Head of Mixed Reality Platform Strategy commented in a blog post: “With a few simple clicks, users will be able to access web content such as tips or guides or stream a Twitch comment channel without having to exit their immersive experiences.”

He stressed that users will only have to log into their Firefox account once as the system will then access and synchronise all bookmarks and cookies across your Firefox browser and their VR offering.

Firefox Reality Open Source and Independent

In its original blog announcement for Firefox Reality Mozilla commented that: “The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications. There shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another.”

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Mozilla has made Firefox Reality open source, which makes it easier for manufacturers to include the browser in their platforms. The Firefox browser was one of the first to integrate WebVR, which is an open standard that aims to smooth how developers create content that will be displayed on a web URL that can be accessed via a standard device or a VR headset.

See Also: Smartphone VR Headset Sales “Collapse” as Interest Wanes

The partnership came on the same day that Valve announced details of its own VR headset the Valve Index. The Index is a dual 1440×1600 RGB LCD display VR headset which they say will operate at 120Hz with backward compatibility to 90Hz.

As this headset is being designed with gaming solely in mind, frame rate and field of view issues have taken a high priority.

Valve said: “The best way to improve field of view is to position the optics as close as possible to the eyes. Physically adjustable IPD (distance between eyes) and eye relief (distance from lens to eye) lets you optimize the field of view for your face. With these features, as well as the dual-element lens and canted optics, this headset provides 20° more FOV than the HTC Vive for typical users.”

See also: European Commission Warns World’s Largest PC Game Distributor Over Competition


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