The Steam 360 Video platform is a new initiative that provides an end-to-end platform for content creators to bring their 360 videos to consumers around the world. Content creators can now deliver mono and stereo 360 videos to Steam customers without the need to build or ship a standalone application. 360 video distribution is also free, there is no Steam Direct cost involved.
Consumers with a SteamVR compatible Virtual Reality headset can instantly be immersed in these videos using our streaming video technology in their HMD. For consumers without a SteamVR compatible headset, a version of the player is available for watching videos on their desktop monitors.
Related to Steam 360 Video, there is a VR media player currently in beta that ships with SteamVR. It is our plan to integrate the streaming 360 player with this VR media player in 2018.
The Steam 360 platform is currently in beta with a goal to ship version 1.0 in early 2018. Features include...Content Creators
- Ingestion of MP4 H.264, PNG and JPG Sequences, AAC and WAV audio files.
- Creation of experiences using the Pixvana SPIN Studio.
- Configuration of the 360 video output format including mono, stereo, equirect, tile-based rendering, diamond plane and varisqueeze formats.
- Configuration of the 360 audio output format including headlocked mono/stereo, and ambisonics (1st order, 4 channel).
- Export of configured 360 video directly from SPIN Studio to Steam.
- Steam store page and delivery of the video to Steam customers.
- Find ground-breaking 360 videos in the Steam store just like any other Steam content.
- Instant playback of the 360 video in and out of a SteamVR Headset.
- Tracked Input, gamepad and keyboard control of video playback.
- Integrated Steam playtime tracking and other native Steam features.
- More consumer facing information can be found at https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=8699-OASD-1871#360
To get started with distributing 360 video content on Steam, you will need to:
- Onboard as a Steam partner. You can start that by e-mailing us at email@example.com with a short description of your video content and/or a link to a trailer or preview video. Please supply a Steam Account name that belongs to someone at your company with the authority to sign contracts and enter banking and tax information.
- Sign up for the Pixvana SPIN Studio beta here: https://pixvana.com/spin - Steam and Pixvana are collaborating on the Steam 360 Video platform, and you’ll need SPIN Studio to upload and prepare your content for Steam. You can use the BETA code VALVE-BETA-01 to complete the sign up.
Once you have completed onboarding with both Steam and Pixvana, you can then:
- Upload your 360 video to SPIN Studio
- Render your video asset into the appropriate OPF delivery format in SPIN Studio. Equirect, while consistent in quality requires higher-bandwidth for playback. Frustum will use less bandwidth but may appear lower in quality for some users.
- Create a Video App on Steamworks to host your SPIN rendered video.
- Export your rendered video asset from SPIN Studio to Steam.
- Complete your store page and video configuration in the Steamworks Partner site.
- Launch your 360 video on Steam for the world to enjoy!
Using SPIN Studio
Help for using SPIN studio can be found here: https://pixvana.zendesk.com/hc/
Creating a new 360 Video on Steam
Once you have completed the onboarding as a Steam partner, an application credit will be added to your account. That app credit can be used to create as many videos or video series "apps" as you like. A video app provides 1 store page and can deliver 1 video.
A video series app provides 1 store page and then you can create any amount of seasons and episodes within that series. You can decide, based on the content you have, how you'd like to organize and release your content. Video series creation help is available here: https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/features/streaming_video/series
- The first step to create a new video or video series is to click the Create new app... button after logging in to the Steamworks site.
- You'll be presented with the Create New Product dialog where you can select the video or video series type, enter the video or series name.
- Make sure to select "This video/series will contain Steam 360 Videos" to ensure the correct video format is configured.
- Once the video or video series is created, you can setup your store page, import a video from SPIN studio, and prepare for release.
Preparing your Store Page
Information about setting up and managing your store page can be found here: https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/store
Testing your 360 Video on Steam
Once a video app has been created on Steam and exported from SPIN studio to Steam, you can test and preview the video in a couple of ways.In the Steam Client / HMD
In the Steamworks Partner Site
- Start the Steam Client and log in with an account associated with your Steam partner.
- In the Library section of the Steam Client, select Videos.
- Within the Video library, there is a VR section and your video will be listed with a  suffix.
- When you click Watch, the 360 video player installation will begin.
- If you have a HMD attached to the computer, the video will begin playing once the installation is complete.
- If you do not have a HMD attached to the computer, a window will appear on your desktop monitor and the video will begin playing.
- Navigate to the video apps landing page
- Select Manage Video from the available sections
- Click the Preview 360 Video button
- The video will then begin playing back in a new browser window.
More details about managing and configuring your video can be found here: https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/features/streaming_video/management
Can I sell my 360 video on Steam?
Yes. All the transactional features of Steam Video including EST purchase and VOD rental are available.
Can I make a white-label 360 video player for distribution on Steam
Eventually, yes. The Steam 360 Video player is actually the first attempt at building such a player.
The technology stack uses components that can be made available to any developers including:
- Steam’s world-wide network infrastructure
- The Steam Store for content discovery and purchase, along with access to a consumers video library.
- Pixvana’s SPIN SDK and OPF format
- Steamworks SDK 1.40 or above
- Utilizing these components, a developer could build a new 360 video player and deliver a kiosk or branded application quickly and easily. More information will be delivered on this in the future.
What is the Open Projection Format?
The Open Projection Format is an open format that describes the relationship between an encoded 360 video and the way it should be presented by the video player. If you are interested in making your own OPF format supported player, more information can be found here: https://pixvana.com/open-projection-format/
Who is Pixvana and what do they have to do with Steam 360 Video
Pixvana and Valve are working together to build a best-of-breed 360 video platform. For Steam 360 Video, Pixvana are providing the ingestion and editing workflow (SPIN Studio), while Steam is providing the storefront and delivery process (Steamworks and the Steam Store). The two companies have worked together to produce the Steam 360 Video player that is integrated with SteamVR and the Steam Client.
More information on Pixvana can be found at their website: https://pixvana.com/
Press Release: Pixvana and Valve Partner to Bring VR Video Streaming to Steam 360 Video Player