Valve readying its own virtual reality prototype with Steam

Ask any PC gamer and they'll tell you the same thing: the future of gaming is ripe for Valve to disrupt. Not only is Steam more popular than ever (no doubt thanks to those incredible Steam sales), but it's all about to get even more exciting with the Steam Machines and that wild Steam Controller.

And that's not all Valve plans to introduce next year. At its Steam Dev Days developer's conference on January 15-16, Valve's Mike Abrash will demonstrate an "assembled prototype" and "discuss what the hardware is like, and the kinds of experiences it makes possible." The Steam Dev Days site says the prototype will outline "what VR could, should, and almost certainly will be within two years" as well as show off how Steam will be optimized for a VR experience.

It should be an interesting event, considering Abrash is doing research and development on wearable computing for Valve.

"I'm becoming steadily more confident that my current project, VR, is going to be one of the game-changes," Abrash wrote in a blog post in July. "That opinion was recently bolstered by the experience of wearing a relatively inexpensive prototype head-mounted display that is possibly the best VR hardware ever made, probably good enough to catapult VR into widespread usage, given the right software."

Abrash could have been talking about Valve's VR prototype or the Oculus Rift.

Getting VR right isn't easy as the Oculus Rift guys will be quick to tell you. There's still no proper launch date for that headset, despite the fact dev kits have been in the hands of crafty developers for over a year. Valve knows this. Abrash will be telling developers to start thinking and planning games in VR now. That way, when the VR prototype hardware is nailed down, the software will be ready to launch alongside smoothly. After all, great hardware will flop if there's nothing to do or play on it.

Via Steam

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