SteamVR

HTC Vive hands-on: That Valve VR wow-factor

HTC Vive hands-on: That Valve VR wow-factor

I’m going to be blunt with you, words can’t do justice to the experience of using HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset. There’s nothing quite like slipping into a virtual 3D world, as I did this week in a preview of Vive ahead of developer units shipping this spring. Cloistered in a room at the back of HTC’s Mobile World Congress stand, and with the reassuring voice of a Vive engineer whispering in my ear, I got to try out a number of demo apps and environments created for the platform by Valve and others, including the first announced title for SteamVR.

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Valve’s GDC 2015 loot bag: Steam Link, SteamVR, Source 2

Valve’s GDC 2015 loot bag: Steam Link, SteamVR, Source 2

It's GDC time again and PC gamers are in for a treat. As expected, Valve is making a big splash but it has more than just virtual reality in mind. To push the PC gaming industry even further, Valve is announcing the availability of the Source 2 engine, which any content creator can get their hands on. It has also disclosed a new hardware product called Steam Link for streaming any and all Steam content. Of course, there's also the SteamVR platform and, surprise surprise, Steam Machines.

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Valve will reveal SteamVR at GDC 2015 next week

Valve will reveal SteamVR at GDC 2015 next week

One cannot say that Gabe Newell and Valve are without vision or ambition. At the upcoming Game Developers Conference in March, the company will be delighting the public with updates on its foray beyond digital game distribution and into gaming hardware. While there will indeed be many eyes on its Steam machines and controllers, perhaps the spotlight for that week will be taken by a "previously unannounced" SteamVR hardware system that will put the company in race towards that still young and still unverified virtual reality market.

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SteamVR protoype device demoed at Dev Days, won’t make you sick

SteamVR protoype device demoed at Dev Days, won’t make you sick

There’s a bit of chatter surrounding the Valve event series going on this week inside the virtual reality landscape, starting with what’s called SteamVR. This system was introduced in beta just before Steam Dev Days began, and has since been shown by Programmer Joe at Valve to be working in full Beta mode in Steam Big Picture mode with the Oculus Rift developer device. There’s also a Valve-made device being shown at Dev Days for developers to try out for themselves.

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