Thrilling air guitar game Unplugged is coming to Steam and bringing its breakthrough finger-tracked gameplay to the Valve Index Controllers on December 2.
In his review, Harry Baker wrote Unplugged offers “a completely unmatched experience and technical accomplishment on Oculus Quest” as it brings to life an activity that “up until now, only existed in your imagination.” He pointed out, for example, the game can make you feel like a guitar-playing rockstar even if you’re not actually learning real guitar, or even holding anything but the air in your hands. We’re going to be curious, then, how the title feels when you’ve got Valve’s Index Controllers strapped behind your knuckles and tapping against your fingertips.
Valve’s controllers had been in development for many years and went on sale for SteamVR-tracked PC VR systems in 2019 — about as long as Oculus Quest has been on sale. The Valve Index Controllers feature straps which allow for full release of the grip, as well as a soft inner surface for sensing the position of fingers. The controllers offer full hand tracking capabilities to PC VR developers but, outside of a tech demo from Cloudhead Games and an optional feature in Half-Life: Alyx which allowed players to crush cans in their grip, not many developers have taken advantage of finger-tracking features in PC VR. The controllers still work with most PC VR games out of the box, of course, and more can be adapted via an easy to use mapping interface. Unplugged, then, is likely to represent the most interesting use of the Valve Index Controllers that we’ve seen in a very long time. The Steam page for the game notes: “REQUIRES VALVE INDEX CONTROLLERS OR HAND-TRACKING TO PLAY.”
The game comes from developer Anotherway and publisher Vertigo Games and owners of the Valve Index Controllers can wishlist it now on Steam. The Steam debut will arrive alongside a new song from Steel Panther called ‘Eyes of the Panther’ as well as an update to the Quest version that will add Passthrough support. On Quest, the list of venues to play will include a mixed reality option to show your surrounding physical environment.