Just two weeks ago it would have been easy to forget that Valve, the famed company behind Steam, was working with virtual reality (VR) technology. The Half-Life developer has revealed its own head-mounted display (HMD) in the past, though it wasn’t expected to reveal a consumer product. It was surprising, then, to hear that the company had partnered with HTC to reveal the HTC Vive HMD at the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) last weekend. Why the sudden push? Because Valve ‘really wants to me VR happen.
Alex Vlachos, graphics programmer at the company, stated as much today at the Game Developers Conference (GDC). Speaking on Valve’s own ‘Advanced VR Rendering’ session, Vlachos stated: “We really want to make VR happen. We’re super excited. If you aren’t on our platform, you can apply all these techniques. We want to do everything we can to help make VR happen.” Vlachos’ words served as a summary to what had been an impressively in-depth talk about optimising VR titles to ensure the best possible experience.
Valve itself has several demos for the HTC Vive on display at GDC. These include some projects from third-party developers such as Cloudhead Games with a new demo for The Gallery: Six Elements and Vertigo Games with a brand new title, Skyworld. The company also has its own demo on display that is based on its popular Portal franchise. Valve has also confirmed that Steam VR isn’t limited to just HTC Vive and that other companies will be using the system in order to create and ship their own HMDs.
VRFocus is at GDC this week to deliver the latest updates on VR technology. Expect hands-on impressions and interviews on all VR technology and videogames.