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Valve has virtual reality plans, but it’s not telling until January 2014

Valve, creator of Half Life and digital game distribution platform Steam, will introduce virtual reality (VR) hardware by 2014 at the Steam Developer Days, a weekend-long game developers conference in Seattle. From 15-16 January, Valve’s Mike Abrash and Joe Ludwig will discuss how it plans to use VR with Steam, and demo its own “affordable” VR device, reads the official Steam Dev Days post. The press waffle is as follows:

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“We’ve figured out what affordable Virtual Reality (VR) hardware will be capable of within a couple of years, and assembled a prototype which demonstrates that such VR hardware is capable of stunning experiences. This type of hardware is almost certainly going to appear in short order, and the time to starting developing for it is now. This talk will discuss what the hardware is like, and the kinds of experiences it makes possible. A few attendees will be randomly selected to try out the prototype following the talk.” This talk is headed up by Abrash, who’s working on wearable computing tech at Valve.

The second talk, hosted by Joe Ludwig, focuses on the future of VR. “Come and hear what Valve is working on in Steam to support and promote Virtual Reality (VR) games. This includes a discussion of the Steam Overlay in VR, Steam store changes for VR, and our VR plan for Steamworks.” Ludwig is one of the lead programmers for Team Fortress 2.

The sterling game creators are already in love with VR, as it’s already demonstrated how games like Half Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 run on the current VR dream-machine, the Oculus Rift.

Half life 2…

And Team Fortress 2, demoed on the Oculus Rift

Valve’s Steam Dev Days lineup can be found here, and it’s jam-packed with session information. There’ll be talks around the Steam Machine, Dota 2 and how to optimise user-generated content amongst others. VR is coming and Steam is championing it. How Valve’s iteration will look, and what it will do to enhance gaming remains a mystery.

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