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Valve has a new VR controller to show off and they seem to be a big fan of the educational method of showing rather than telling. To achieve this, they've created a demo called Moondust, specifically geared toward giving developers a chance to try out some of the new functionality of the Knuckles EV2 VR controller. And since this is an experience all about conducting tests, you better believe it's set in the same universe as the studio's popular puzzle game series, Portal.
If the trailer's moody techno soundtrack doesn't immediately give away the fact that Valve is sending us back into the world of Portal, the spaceship boasting an Aperture logo at the start of the footage should do the trick. This tech demo is called Moondust, after all, so we're heading to earth's closest celestial body.
The whole point of this demo is for Valve to demonstrate the Knuckles EV2 controller for VR gaming, not to be confused with a Super Saiyan version of the Sonic character. The controller has a whole bunch of new inputs available, giving developers more options than ever to play with when creating their games. When this kind of new technology drops, it's not uncommon for the developer to also create a playroom of sorts that allows folks to simply see the new tools in action.
According to the Steam forum, anyone who has received the Knuckles EV2 hardware kit and installed its driver will gain access to a special set of forums dedicated specifically to the device. From there, they can share ideas, concerns, theories and the like. What they'll probably do first, though, is boot up Moondust and take those bad boys for a spin.
In the trailer for the tech demo, we see a lot of the controller's functionality in action. For instance, the Knuckles EV2 has pressure sensitive grips now, so players can pick up and then crush moon rocks to be converted into fuel. We also see the player designing complex contraptions by picking up and connecting various pieces, controlling an RC car with the pressure-sensitive triggers and joysticks and haphazardly throwing objects at targets on the moon's surface.
While the future of VR gaming is unclear at this point, it's nice to see some major focus on the technology, especially from a company like Valve. Combine this new technology with big games like Resident Evil VII, Superhot VR and Moss as well as all of the VR games on display at the recent E3 2018, and it certainly seems like the industry is still set on giving gaming headsets a decent amount of attention.
Controllers like the Knuckles EV2 will only further the sense of immersion created by VR gaming, so hopefully plenty of developers are getting their kits and putting them to good use.