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Valve working with Oculus on VR, no plans to launch in-house rig


Yes, Valve has sophisticated virtual reality rigs in its hardware offices, but it's going to work with Oculus Rift to develop in-home VR, Valve R&D leader Michael Abrash said during Steam Dev Days. Valve and Oculus collaborated to create the Oculus Rift Crystal Cove prototype, which Abrash called "a big step in the right direction."

We got to play with the Crystal Cove prototype at CES, and it was a treat. It added a camera that faced the player, tracking a series of LEDs on the front of the headset to allow positional movements, such as leaning forward to read in-game text. The Crystal Cove also eliminated motion blur and had an OLED screen.

The Oculus Rift is a "seated" VR rig, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said during Dev Days. Valve, on the other hand, showed off its own VR set, something that felt like a "holodeck" and tracked player movement, including walking and crouching, Engadget reported from first-hand accounts. Garry's Mod creator Garry Newman tested out Valve's VR and said it didn't make him sick, as the Oculus dev kit does.

"It was really immersive," he wrote on his blog. "It's hard to explain just how immersive it felt. Imagine being in a room and looking around and seeing and hearing things in that room. That's what it was like." But, remember, Valve doesn't plan to release this baby to the public – at least not any time soon.

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