A member of the NeoGAF videogame forums with connections to Valve has detailed the company’s prototype virtual reality (VR) headset. The user, named Feep, allegedly visited the Half-Life creator’s offices in Seattle and got a chance to go hands on with the device, stating that it is “lightyears ahead” of the current development kit for the Oculus Rift VR headset.The poster noted that the headset’s resolution ran in 1080p and was armed with low-persistance technology. It reportedly ran at 95 Hz, with no flickering visible and ghosting and smearing “drastically reduced”. Latency was estimated to be at 25ms, which was said not to be noticeable.
The prototype’s solution for positional tracking reportedly involved sticking papers to a room’s walls so that a mounted camera could read relative positions. It was noted that, without these papers on the floor, the headset lost positional tracking when looking down. The headset was also apparently tethered.
As for demos, Feeb ran through a series of sequences, none of which were actual videogames. These included a Tron-like rendition of a turret from Valve’s Portal series, a reflective surface and an outdoor environment with gigantic columns.
“This is an incredible, potentially world-changing technology. There are obstacles to overcome, but many of them have already been conquered. The use cases for these devices are almost literally infinite. This is the future. Tron is the future,” Feeb concluded.
It was also noted that, while the poster was yet to try out Oculus Rift’s Crystal Cove prototype, it was his understanding that it was only “slightly” behind Valve’s offering.
Valve has gone on-record stating that, as impressive as this VR prototype may be, it won’t see a consumer release. Insted the company is committed to supporting the Oculus Rift headset, which is gearing up for a consumer release hopefully towards the end of the year. VRFocus will continue to report on any new developments for either device.