Exciting Air Guitar Play Unplugged is coming to Steam, bringing its groundbreaking finger-tracking gameplay to the Valve Index controllers on December 2nd.
In his review, Harry Baker wrote that Unplugged offers “a completely unsurpassed experience and technical performance on Oculus Quest”, as it brings to life an activity that “until now only existed in your imagination.” He pointed out, for example, that the game can make you feel like a guitar-playing rock star, even if you do not actually learn real guitar or even have anything but the air in your hands. We therefore become curious about how the title feels when you have Valve’s index controllers strapped behind your knuckles and tapping at your fingertips.
Valve’s controllers had been under 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. Valve Index Controllers have straps that allow full release of the grip, as well as a soft inner surface to feel the position of fingers. The controllers offer full hand tracking for PC VR developers, but outside of a technical demo from Cloudhead Games and an optional feature in Half-Life: Alyx, which allowed players to smash cans in their grips, not many developers has utilized finger tracking features in PC VR. Of course, the controllers still work with most PC VR games out of the box, and more can be customized via a user-friendly card interface. Unplugged will therefore probably represent the most interesting use of Valve Index Controllers that we have seen in a very long time. The Steam page for the game notes: “REQUIRES VALVE INDEX CONTROLLER OR HAND TRACKING TO PLAY. “
The game comes from developer Anotherway, and publisher Vertigo Games and owners of Valve Index Controllers may wish it now on Steam. The Steam debut comes along with 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. At Quest, the list of venues will include a mixed reality option to show your surrounding physical environment.