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VR gaming may have faded from view in recent times, but that doesn't mean it's dead. In fact, Valve still has plans on luring in gamers to the VR market by attempting to use software to help sell the hardware. There are now rumors floating about that a new Half-Life game could be bundled in with new VR hardware.
According to a report from UploadVR, there are rumors circling around some new images that popped up on social media sharing service, Imgur. The images showcase what look like prototypes of a new VR headset that Valve could be working on. The images showcase the inside workings of a series of prototypes, and there's literally a Valve logo on the main HMD board.
Now, this could mean that Valve is working with its partner company, HTC, to develop certain hardware components for the VR headset while HTC handles the rest, or it could mean that this is literally a hardware prototype that Valve is working on internally that the company plans to release.
UploadVR is reporting that a source close to the project informed them that this new hardware is expected to release at some point in 2019, and that it will come bundled with Half-Life. The current rumor is that the game will be a prequel to where the game last left off, which was a cliffhanger after the Combine attacked the resistance's base and attempted to kill certain key figures. Gamers have been dearly waiting for a Half-Life 3 to finally complete the story, but the entire threequel concept has become more of a meme than anything else.
However, a Half-Life prequel might make sense, and typically the Half-Life games have released alongside new technological advancements made by Valve. For the first game it was accompanied by the new GoldSrc engine, while the second game launched with the first version of Steam and Valve's own Source Engine. A third game launching with a revolutionary VR headset isn't completely out of the question.
UploadVR also notes that the headset will come with the VR Knuckles, Valve's highly anticipated VR wands that have been in development for the last couple of years. The company has been improving developer support for the Knuckles, but there still hasn't been a release date for a consumer version. It would definitely make sense that the Knuckles would arrive with a new iteration of headset.
But, what makes this new headset any different from the Vive Pro or the Oculus Rift? Well, according to the report, it will feature a wider field of vision at 135 degrees. The resolution will also reportedly be 1440 x 1600 progressively scanned pixels per eye. That would mean that it would run games at the same resolution as the HTC Vive Pro.
Much like the Pro, we also see that the prototype headset also features two front-facing cameras, but we still don't know exactly what those are for.
Obviously the headset would be compatible with SteamVR, and if the Knuckles do come bundled with it then the price tag would obviously start at above $699. However, details are still scant, and technically the prototype headsets could be for anything, including a new VR amusement park. If it is a new consumer headset that comes with a new Half-Life game made specifically for VR, would that be enough to convince you to take the plunge into virtual reality?