Earlier this week Valve, the company behind popular digital PC videogame store Steam, announced that it would be revealing a new virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) next week’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, California, USA. The company will be demoing its new tech, labelled SteamVR, to developers and publishers throughout the week. Release details for the kit aren’t yet known, but VRFocus has learned that the company has contracted a ‘prominent hardware manufacturer’ to make it.
VRFocus has heard that from a reliable source close to the project that the HMD itself will be made by this third-party. It’s not yet clear exactly which hardware manufacturer the company is working with, though it’s possible that this will be revealed next week. Valve will be showcasing its work along with a number of other projects from 4th – 6th March 2015.
Valve has been closely associated with VR technology for a long time, having first revealed its HMD and the ‘Valve room’ that it was used within last year. The company showcased a unique system with markers stuck to the walls and ceiling of the room, allowing for full positional tracking as players experienced a number of different scenarios. The company had previously said that it wasn’t planning to make this technology commercially available, although this news certainly makes it sound as if the company might have changed its stance since then.
Interestingly, several of Valve’s key staff that worked on VR have now found a home at Oculus VR, the maker of the Oculus Rift HMD. This includes the likes of Michael Abrash. Will the companies now find themselves competing or does Valve have different plans for its HMD? VRFocus will be at GDC 2015 to bring you all of the latest updates from all VR companies.