Valve has its own VR headset, but you’ll never get to use it

2 min read


We know that Valve has more than just a middling interest in Virtual Reality. They introduced an entire Virtual Reality SDK in to Steam, and they’ve had a meeting or two with Rift VR, the people behind the Oculus Rift. They’ve got their own VR tech – and according to those who’ve used it, it’s life-changing stuff.

Giving his feedback on the tech, “Feep,” a developer at Iridium Studios says Valve’s VR is miles ahead of the original Oculus Rift, and still better than Rift’s Crystal Cove.  And it’s not the first time we’ve heard such hyperbole regarding Valve’s VR.

“Valve’s solution is lightyears ahead of the original Oculus Dev Kit,” he claimed. “Resolution, while not at ‘retina’ level perfection, was no longer really a significant issue. The screen door effect was almost completely negligible, thanks to a shiny 1080p display. (Not actually shiny, shiny like in Firefly.)

“Just as fantastic was their low-persistance display tech. The display ran at a blistering 95 Hz, and the pixels only flash for approximately 20% of that 10.52 ms refresh time. You don’t notice any flickering or lack of brightness, and the plus side is that ghosting and smearing were drastically reduced. Not *completely* eliminated, mind you.

“Latency? Low. Approximately 25ms. Not noticeable.”

It’s still tethered, he says, and there are no real games to play, just a handful or two of technology demos, descriptions and details of which you can read over at neoGAF. As somebody who owns a Rift dev unit, he’s mighty impressed by it.

“This is an incredible, potentially world-changing technology. There are obstacles to overcome, but many of them have already been conquered. The use cases for these devices are almost literally infinite. This is the future. Tron is the future.”

Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, Valve will not be releasing their VR solution as a commercial product, ever. Although a fully virtual Half Life 3 sounds pretty damned intriguing.

Read  Steam is killing Bitcoin as a payment option

Last Updated: February 28, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • dratini

    *sobs quietly in the distance*

    • Kensei Seraph

      *Hands over a box of tissues*
      Don’t worry I brought extra.

      *Crawls back into bed and hides under covers*

  • CypherGate

    Odd to create something you will never release commercially. Especially if its going to be a game changer.

  • John Van Rensburg

    bloody tease!

  • WavyPinesMaster

    This just doesn’t make sense to me at all. All those R&D dollars for not releasing a product that people in the gaming industry that have tried saying stuff like it is superior in every way to the rift.

    I mean, Valve has an opportunity to dominate an entire new marketshare… first rift gets bought by facebook and now this. I just hope Valve wises up and changes their minds. There is NO reason not to be totally serious about releasing this product and changing the way gaming is played forever.

    • WavyPinesMaster

      Also, Valve was working closely with the Rift for awhile now, and I really believe now that Facebook bought it they will clearly see that it is not in their best interest to back the rift anymore and release their own VR. This whole situation reminds me of how Nintendo and Sony were in partnership and Sony went their own separate ways and made their own console because of CDs changing the industry.

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