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Google launches YouTube VR for Steam but it's off to a rocky start

Despite currently being in Early Access, Google's app is receiving a slew of complaints.
By
December 15, 2017
TL;DR
  • Google has launched its YouTube VR app as a free download on Steam
  • It’s in Early Access and is compatible with the HTC Vive headset
  • So far, the app has been the subject of a number of negative reviews and complaints

Google has launched its YouTube VR app on Steam. The app, which was previously exclusive to Google’s Daydream platform, is currently in early access but it can be downloaded right now for free on PC.

YouTube VR for Steam lets you explore Google’s ubiquitous video website using an HTC Vive VR headset. This means that not only can you search for and watch regular content, but you’ll also be able to enjoy videos specifically made for VR (like this); you can check out the original Daydream app trailer below.

Though the app has already been successful on Daydream and is built by Google who, you know, have a pretty good track record when it comes this whole software thing, the launch actually isn’t going great. The app currently has “mixed” reviews on Steam, with complaints ranging from the forced left-handed controls, to the lack of captions and quality settings, to the app just failing to launch (which is the exact experience I had with it).

Early Access is generally a good way for developers to roll out their product and identify any issues without the same expectation as a final release would have. What’s more, YouTube VR comes in a small download package (60 MB or so) and, as we said above, it’s free, so users aren’t really losing out on much by giving it a whirl.

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That being said, failing to launch is a fairly large error to have out of the gates, and it could turn people off using the app now and in the future. Google is no doubt keen for people to start using the app, or else it wouldn’t be in Early Access, so hopefully it addresses the problems soon.

For more on the HTC Vive, watch the full review from our sister site VR Source at the link.