The OpenXR plugin for Unreal Engine has been updated in the latest 4.27 release and is now production-ready.
OpenXR is a new standard that provides an API for VR and AR content that allows game engines to write code that is compatible across multiple hardware platforms. Previously, companies like Facebook, Valve and Microsoft all used their own separate APIs, which therefore required more effort from developers if they wanted to support multiple headsets.
Platforms have slowly been adding support for OpenXR and transferring over to the new API. SteamVR added full OpenXR support earlier this year, while Facebook got fully on board just under two months ago.
The latest release of Unreal Engine, 4.27, improves the OpenXR plugin support and brings it to a production-ready state. This means that Epic Games considers OpenXR support is essentially ready to use and able to meet the demands and needs of VR developers using Unreal. In 4.27, Epic added support for stereo layers, splash screens, querying playspace bounds and more — you can find more detail here.
The release also includes redesigned templates for VR and AR projects, which serve as “a starting point” for developers to jump off when developing a project using OpenXR, ARCore or ARKit.
The new VRTemplate for OpenXR projects includes encapsulated logic for teleport locomotion, snap rotation, grab components, a VR spectator camera and a menu. The template supports Quest 1 and 2, Quest via Link, Rift S, Valve Index, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality platforms. You can read more about the template here.
The redesigned handheld AR template, designed for developers using ARCore or ARKit platforms on iOS and Android devices, includes some basic features such as basic UI and touch interface, easy setup and model scaling and rotation features.
Previously, Epic added OpenXR support to the beta for Unreal Engine 5. You can read more about OpenXR in Unreal 4.27 here.