Back in March, Valve's Joe Ludwig mentioned how important the company believes virtual reality tech is but ultimately left us hanging, unable to be more detailed without a firm plan on what it might eventually ship. Next year the blanks will be filled in, as Valve has scheduled two very relevant sessions during its Developer Days conference: What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years, and Virtual Reality and Steam. Better yet, the descriptions reveal that it will have a prototype of what stunning experience it thinks "affordable" VR hardware will be capable of soon, and the software it's working on including "the Steam Overlay in VR, Steam store changes for VR, and our VR plan for Steamworks."

The Oculus Rift has already done a lot to spark our imaginations and given a platform for developers to test out their VR ideas, but putting the power of Steam behind this tech could push it where next-gen consoles haven't. After the departure of the castAR team, we're very interested to see what Valve will do, and its developer days seem like our first opportunity to find out. The two day conference happens January 15th and 16th but it's only open to developers -- if you pop open the registration page anyway we won't blame you.

What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years
Mike Abrash

We've figured out what affordable Virtual Reality (VR) hardware will be capable of within a couple of years, and assembled a prototype which demonstrates that such VR hardware is capable of stunning experiences. This type of hardware is almost certainly going to appear in short order, and the time to starting developing for it is now. This talk will discuss what the hardware is like, and the kinds of experiences it makes possible. A few attendees will be randomly selected to try out the prototype following the talk.

Virtual Reality and Steam
Joe Ludwig

Come and hear what Valve is working on in Steam to support and promote Virtual Reality (VR) games. This includes a discussion of the Steam Overlay in VR, Steam store changes for VR, and our VR plan for Steamworks.

[Image credit: Michael Clinard]

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