Yesterday the SpaceEngine spin-off OVERVIEW was released on Steam.
The app is VR-only, so you need a VR headset to play it. This Steam release supports only HTC Vive, but I’ve got an Oculus Rift CV1 a few weeks ago and already implemented its full native support (with Touch controllers). So the first update of OVERVIEW on Steam will add Oculus Rift support. Release on Oculus Store is scheduled on April 2nd.
The app is made of two parts. The first part “STORY” is a virtual tour through space made of six chapters with narrative speech, like a planetarium documentary (for now, only in English and French). It is passive, i.e. you don’t need any controls, just rotate your head to look around, and use roomscale tracking to walk inside the scene. The second part “EXPLORE” allows some degree of freedom. You need your VR controllers to perform simple actions: zoom out from the Earth to the local group of galaxies in the first chapter, or fly around the Solar System in the second one. New chapters will come in future updates with more content, for free. Controls in this mode may be disorienting at the beginning, but we are working on improving them (recently I added several new abilities to SE scripting language for this).
There were some misunderstandings on the SE forum recently. To clarify things, here is a short FAQ:
A thread about OVERVIEW can be found here.