Valve has announced that they will be unveiling their brand new virtual reality headset device at the 2015 Game Developers Conference. The announcement came recently and signifies that the company won't just be rolling out new info for the Steam Machines and the controller, but a new VR peripheral, too.
This comes as a bit of a surprise given that Valve hasn't really been positioning themselves as VR enthusiasts... not quite like Facebook or Sony, both of whom made their virtual reality intentions rather clear with the Oculus Rift and Morpheus, respectfully.
The announcement about SteamVR came courtesy of a short and sweet post on the official Steam website, where it's stated...
“Steam is bringing the best games and user-generated content to exciting new destinations. At GDC 2015, we’ll be giving demos of the refined Steam Controller, new living room devices, and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system.”
Yep, that's right... they'll be talking about a previously unannounced virtual reality hardware system.
The only question becomes if they'll manage to get it out before Facebook and Oculus take control of the market this summer with the Rift. Given that Valve does things on Valve time, this could go either way for them.
Nevertheless, the digital software distributor, publisher, developer and now hardware maker wants to give publishers and developers a firsthand look at the new VR device. If you're in the business of making games you can register to get in some test-time with the device by registering on Valve's official website.
I imagine they're going to be getting feedback to fine tune the hardware for the software.
But that's not the only thing that Valve is bringing to GDC... they also have the Steam Machines. The company has plans to re-introduce the market to the Steam Machines.
The last we heard about the Steam Machines is that they were being delayed to 2015. Well, now we're going to get some more information on them. Some companies like Alienware have already gone ahead and released their $499 living room console ahead of Valve's release of their own devices. Why? Because SteamOS isn't ready. In fact, that's one of the major reasons for the delay of the Steam Machines... SteamOS isn't ready just yet.
Another issue for the delay was the lack of availability of the Steam Controller, Valve's own proprietary gaming pad.
At GDC Valve will unveil the “final” version of the Steam Controller, with all the buttons, analog sticks and touchpads in place. I'm really curious what the final design will look like so I can go ahead and pick up a controller for myself.
Once Valve finishes the controller, gets SteamOS functioning correctly (and fix some of the glitches with Steam's Big Picture Mode) and gets the finished Steam Machine design, they'll be ready to compete head-to-head with the Xbox One and PS4 in the living room home console space. They're only two years late to the party, but it's better to be late than to never show up, right?
We'll keep you tuned in on what Valve showcases at GDC and what the fallout will be like after things wrap up on March 6th next week.