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Valve's investing in VR, but has no plans to release its own hardware

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
January 16, 2014
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Remember that Oculus Rift prototype that ran away with our Best of CES 2014 award? Turns out Valve helped make it a reality. Speaking at Steam Dev Days, Valve's Michael Abrash explained that the two companies collaborated on the Crystal Cove prototype's new tracking features, which combines sensors, markers and an external camera to keep track of the user's head and body position. In fact, the software company seems to be pinning most of its hopes for the space on the VR startup, noting that it currently has no plans to ship a Valve-produced headset. Although Abrash doesn't expect virtual reality technology to become mainstream for another two years, he does say that the Crystal Cove prototype is a big step in the right direction.

Even so, there's still a lot of room to grow: headsets still need to shed their tethers, improve optics and solve multiple head and eye tracking issues. There are also content hurdles to overcome. According to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey (also taking the stage at Steam Dev Days), developers should be focusing on creating experiences tailored to VR. "Stop thinking about porting existing games," read one of his slides. We'd have to agree: EVE Valkyrie is one of the most compelling VR experiences you can have, and it's built specifically for the Rift. Despite the issues facing the budding technology, Valve seems confident that it will flourish, and pledges to continue working with Oculus to drive the VR revolution onward. Sounds mighty fine to us.

[Image credit: @DaveOshry]

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