Valve have launched the SteamVR 1.23 update, and to mark the occasion, they’re letting you… look at high-quality scanned models of genuinely deceased insects? That they found? I guess???
Key technical improvements to SteamVR include multiple crash fixes, smoother controller animations and new extension support for the OpenXR platform; the full patch notes are on Steam. But the update also adds a new SteamVR Home setting that – and I quote, with emphasis Valve’s – “showcases CT scans of actual dead bugs we found lying on the ground outside our office.” See? The Valve Index isn’t just for playing Half-Life Alyx, eh.
A CT scan, as the blog post explains, involves shooting X-rays at the subject – in this case, the expired bug population of Bellevue, Washington – then generating a model from the captured data that can display different density levels. These models are then converted into simpler versions that the average gaming PC can actually display without choking. Should you visit SteamVR’s virtual critter mausoleum, then, you’ll be able to peek at the specimens’ insides as well as their ill-fated exteriors. You’ll just have to subscribe to the models on the SteamVR Workshop.
This might be of interest to nature fans, to be fair, and the Home destination even provides a floating scale so you can see how big the bug was before a Valve intern grabbed it off the floor. Should you own one of the best VR headsets but want something less crawly to look forward to, there’s always there’s the impressively ambitious Half-Life Alyx: Levitation, a fully voiced and animated mod project coming later this year.