Valve's VR Headset Aiming to Make "Zero Percent of the Populace Sick"

The Vive will also require motion control support and will allow you to get up and walk around a space.


Of all the major virtual reality headsets, Valve and HTC's Vive is still relatively unknown. Valve has been somewhat secretive about its upcoming SteamVR platform and how the player will interact with it. However, a new article from Ars Technica sheds some light on what Valve is doing to differentiate itself from its competitors.

In the article, the company reiterates its promise to completely eliminate motion sickness and nausea. Motion sickness is one of the biggest problems with virtual reality headsets; the promise of early Oculus Rift prototypes was sometimes overshadowed by user nausea and vertigo. Most people accept motion sickness as an inherent possibility with VR, no matter what the quality of the hardware is, but Valve is aiming for no possibility at all.

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That's why the company is helping a team develop a set of sensors that allows the player to walk around naturally, as opposed to using a controller to move a character in a virtual space. Developer Owlchemy Labs is assisting in this process. Alex Schwartz of Owlchemy says that this is integral to his studio's--and Valve's--goals for the Vive. "People instantly think, 'Well, the Oculus said you'll probably be seated, so just hit a button and drive forward,'" he explains. "Cockpit games are gonna be huge, surely. But personally, the direction Owlchemy's taking is a no-nausea approach, period, full stop... Properly designed games in the Vive will get zero percent of the populace sick."

To assist in this process, motion controllers will be "standard and required" for the Vive. This is in direct contrast with Oculus, whose own newly revealed Touch motion controllers will be optional for the headset. It seems that Valve is doubling down on making its headset as immersive as possible, rather than just a 3D head-tracking device for playing normal games.

Next week is E3, but Valve has already stated that it will be taking the show off and saving its announcements for later.

In the meantime, you can read up on all of the reveals from Oculus' press conference yesterday, and keep an eye on GameSpot for impressions and news about VR during the coming week.

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