Back in March we published a story announcing BigScreen, a unique way to use your entire PC’s wide range of programs and functionality inside of VR. The cornerstone feature of BigScreen that separates it from its competition – such as Virtual Desktop – is that it’s an inherently social experience. For many early adopters, BigScreen represents not only an easy and efficient way to use their desktop in VR, but also an accessible way to do so with friends.
Now you’re officially able to download and use the program for free on Steam with your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Yes – 100% for free, in contrast to the $14.99 current price tag on virtual desktop. What makes BigScreen so special though isn’t just the virtual desktop features, but it’s how it allows you to share and experience them online with other people.
— BigScreen (@BigScreenVR) April 28, 2016
Users can load up a public or private room for others to join and experience together. Users are represented with floating avatar heads that mimic their real-life head movements. Positional audio further establishes your sense of immersion and before long, it starts to feel like a real VR LAN party.
According to the official Twitter account and co-founder Darshan Shankar, the launch is going incredibly well. In just mere minutes after they launched BigScreen for free on Steam, there were over 100 concurrent users. On the first day, Darshan also notes that 5 people had already spent 8-9 hours each in BigScreen. In total, users spent over 35 days worth of time inside of BigScreen in its first 24 hours of launch, which points towards adoption for everyday use already – a great first impression.
Since it’s is just in beta, you can expect frequent updates and new features to roll out in the coming weeks. The Steam page already lists things like shared desktop audio, customizable avatars, Vive controller support, and more as “Coming Soon” for the program.
You can download BigScreen for free on Steam to use with your Oculus Rift and HTC Vive today.