Valve-produced virtual reality headset not likely to see release

Half-Life studio has no plans to ship its own VR headset, will instead work with Oculus to "drive PC VR forward."

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Half-Life and Portal creator Valve has no plans to release its own virtual reality headset, the company's wearable computing designer Michael Abrash said this week during the Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle. The event is open only to developers, but slides of Abrash's presentation were made available from attendee Dave Oshry.

Killing Floor developer Tripwire Interactive game designer David Hensley said he received a demonstration of Valve's own virtual reality headset and remarked, "It's going to be hard to go back to my Oculus Rift dev kit after experiencing Valve's VR demo. Kinda like playing an xbox then 8bit Nintendo."

Although this Valve-produced VR headset isn't likely to be released publicly, the company remains interested in the VR space. To that end, Abrash revealed during Steam Dev Days that Valve and Oculus VR worked together on the Crystal Cove prototype's new tracking features that were shown off during CES 2014 last week. In addition, Abrash said Valve will continue to work with Oculus to "drive PC VR forward."

Regarding the viability of virtual reality technology in general, Abrash said he doesn't expect it to become mainstream for another two years, but noted that Crystal Cove is a good first step. He also said that the PC will be a "hotbed" for virtual reality, not consoles like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

Discussion

32 comments
jark888
jark888

Nice move! Competition while VR tech is still struggle wouldn't be a good idea. Cooperation is the answer here.

wyan_
wyan_

Woah, stop the train! This guy from Tripwire liked Valve's VR better than the Rift dev kit? Why the hell isn't Valve continuing if theirs is better? Did the Crystal Cove version surpass it? I'd like to know.

DAOWAce
DAOWAce

Well, VR support for Half Life 3 confirmed.

robertcain
robertcain

Good! At the very least it's one less thing that will distract them from delivering what we've all been clamoring for; Half Life 3...

El Kamilo
El Kamilo

people need to collab more instead of trying to reinvent the wheel on their own. We need virtual reality in my opinion.

Mingo
Mingo

good! tired of seeing every damn company copying occulus rift's technology.. sony and microsoft need to jump off a bridge too

Matt Fuss
Matt Fuss

lol what plans DOES valve have?!

Fabian85
Fabian85

That is the wise thing to do let the OR guys do it..they know it best. Sony and microsoft VR will be poor copies no doubt.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Oculus users are going to be so easy to stick a cream pie in their faces.

C-THREE
C-THREE

Man I am curious what valves VR headset was like for Hensley to compare it to Xbox and oculus rift to 8 bit Nintendo.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Could be a great partnership. Two innovative teams.

wookiegr
wookiegr

As the PC market starts to get more and more advanced, gamers will see a wider divide between PC gaming and console gaming. It will be far worse than just kids jumping in and calling PC master race. In two years (or even less) when 4K gaming is becoming more common with high end PC gamers and the Rift supports amazing VR experiences gaming on a console will be a joke to many. Even those that fight over which console is better right now.

Quarkzquarkz
Quarkzquarkz

I smell a conspiracy brewing. Things like this are not made to release and only teasing us with tiny tidbits for decades to come.. =(

unreal101
unreal101

Valve-produced third entry in a series not likely to see release, either.

MigGui
MigGui

@robertcain yeah, sure, because it's certainly the same team that does both things

MigGui
MigGui

yeah sure, just because someone made a prototype of virtual reality suddenly it's a closed market and no one else should try. it's absurd that there are so many car makers, how could they copy mercedes' technology??

PS2fweak
PS2fweak

@Fabian85 How will they be poor copies? That's impossible because Sony and Microsoft both have their own proprietary technologies for positional tracking . I hate Kinect and Move for most video games, but they're perfect for a quality VR headset. Just think about what Crystal Cove is. It's a step up for Oculus Rift, because it added something Microsoft and Sony have had for awhile. 

Fanible
Fanible

@C-THREEMy guess is that what he experienced is ultimately what ended up being what we've now seen with the Crystal Cove.  Better resolution and full motion head tracking.

m_bd89
m_bd89

@wookiegrComparing high end PCs with older consoles is like comparing sports cars with the family van, it's pointless and stupid, both can fill different needs.

Fabian85
Fabian85

@PS2fweak@Fabian85 Everything sony has done in the vr department so far has been poor and overpriced. Sure they do but they will no doubt imitate once the tech patent runs out, And also they are working with much much inferior hardware  wich offers lower fps i dont think developers will kink fps up and graphics down just to suit VR on these platforms. You know plenty of OR people say not possible to put it on consoles due to hardware limitations yes? So no doubt inferior dumbed down versions of virtual reality will be what is offered.