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Steam Deck modder creates VR headset alternative using Xbox Kinect

A Steam Deck enthusiast proves it’s possible to play virtual reality games with the Valve gaming PC via an Xbox Kinect and some software tinkering

A Steam Deck against a purple background, with an Xbox Kinect on its display

A savvy Steam Deck modder has managed to turn the Valve gaming PC into a motion-controlled device, using an Xbox Kinect. In doing so, they’ve nicely demonstrated how you can play VR games without having to fork out for an expensive rig or VR headset.

If you want to try it yourself, you’ll need to plug the portable PC into the best Steam Deck dock and boot up a VR game. In a video posted to Reddit, the rhythm game Beat Saber is used as a proof of concept, coming to life on the much larger TV screen. To one side, atop a speaker, sits the aforementioned Kinect camera, and when the game begins, the footage cuts to it being played effortlessly without any virtual reality hardware to be seen.

In the thread, Alexboot23 says they were motivated to try this on their Steam Deck as they don’t have any VR gear to speak of. You’ll also need to have Windows installed on the device, as well as a copy of Driver4VR. For those aren’t aware, Driver4VR is a piece of software available on Steam that enhances body tracking. All of this combined goes towards turning the Deck into a nifty motion-controlled system.

Even though what they’ve managed is not technically virtual reality, it’s stilla neat method of playing virtual reality games without having to purchase any of the kit. True, they probably could have put the money towards the best VR headset instead of purchasing a Steam Deck, but Alexboot23 feels you can do a lot more with the portable device.

Custom mods for the portable gaming PC are coming out of the woodwork thick and fast. There are those who have 3D-printed Steam Deck rests or just made their own Lego dock, and it’s evident that more than enough people willing to try new things with the machine.