Just hours ago, HTC Corporation announced they are working together with Valve on new Virtual Reality (VR) hardware technology, with plans to release a fully-featured headset.
HTC Announce That They Are Working with Valve on new VR TechNews & Rumors
The headset, dubbed the ‘HTC Re Vive‘ was announced by Jeff Gattis, executive director for HTC Global Marketing during HTC’s ‘Utopia in Progress’ presentation at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.
The Vive headset will apparently include over 70 sensors, a 90Hz refresh rate, and full 360 degree room tracking, which will essentially allow users to walk around in a room without getting motion sickness. The product should be available sometime in 2015. Jeff Gattis also hinted at Valve’s controller, but mentioned nothing of the specs.
See Also: Valve’s New Hardware
HTC dropped the bombshell during their presentation showing off their upcoming products, which you can listen to in the video below:
For anyone who is not familiar with HTC, they are a hardware manufacturer that sells mobile devices holding around 3% of the global marketshare.
Going back to Valve, the development of ‘SteamVR’ software technology has been speculated for some time now, however for the most part it has often been overlooked in the shadows of their other hardware announcements so releasing such a device may finally get VR on the move in the PC Gaming space.
What are your thoughts? Is Valve getting in over their heads with VR tech? Is Valve pushing the envelope in regards to VR tech? Comment below.
> You can see the announcement below, at 56:40.
The announcement is at 20:46.
Not surprising that Valve teamed up with a smartphone making company. We’ve seen the Gear VR from Samsung which uses a Note 4 as a display or just the well known occulus dk2 which has a Note 3 screen for display.
What makes me a bit more interrogated is the lack of informations in the specs. What about the fov? What is the resolution of the screen? What about latency? Trust me, those problems were already here with occulus dk1 and I personally thing those needs to be fixed to avoid any motion sickness and get a full immersion.
I can also name few other meaningless questions like if it has wire or not or how do they do carry power on this thing.
My other concern is to see how many people are making their own kitchen on their side. I’m a bit worried to see some stuffs coming up that only work with their own VR device. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate to see a bit of competition, but I hope they will bring something good together that will become a uniform way to have VR technology and not, instead, trying to crush our opponent by putting incompatiblities and DRM codes everywhere.
But as we know Valve, this will surely unlikely happen and I’m just a bit paranoid by seeing the worst case scenario.
We’ll see more of Valve’s plan at GDC this month. 🙂
(gosh I’m starting to write a shitload here – I should maybe one day join your steam group)
The key part is Valve has always taken an open stance on things like this. Valve may not say a whole lot, but when they do, they know what they are saying and they mean it. Take for instance the Oculus team after talking to Valve. The Oculus guys didn’t really think refresh rate was that important, but Valve showed them otherwise.
Valve has also stated that they aren’t interested in locking the whole thing down. Sure Valve writes closed source software (Steam, VAC, SteamVR, etc.) but that’s done for a reason. Valve also realizes that they simply can not compete with their community, and thus want to allow modders, developers, artists, or what have you, to pick everything they do apart and start creating.
As you stated, VR is a tricky piece of tech to make it work well. Sure you can strap a screen to someone’s face and add sensors to change the picture, but we all know there’s more to it than that. Latency (input and output timings), Field of View (FoV), refresh rate, resolution, and many more things go into making a seamless reality. We already have tech to do 3D such as Nvidia’s 3D vision. It works well, it’s more immersive than 2D content, but it still has a little way to go to tricking us into thinking it’s real.
I do also believe about the openess of Valve, but what about the others? I know it’s some total conspiracy theories and I do threat them like that. Valve is open for sure but what about Occulus (now behind Facebook) or Samsung? Can you trust them as much as Valve?
I know I’m wrong to say that since Occulus have a genius team and we know they made steps in Valve’s office too. Again, I know it’s the worst case scenario and I know it has nearly no chance to happen.
You might be right about me being too picky about the specifications. I just found weird that nothing was mentioned. I do agree we’ve to be realist and we’ll surely see some update models with better specs in a couple of years.
I think we can both come to an agreement that markets where competition is readily practiced, tend to be the best for consumer. Valve understands this, but also knows they have a leg up. Of course they will leverage that, and I would be a fool to not say that. It’s sad that I’ve talked to people who think Valve wants to keep this all of this tech private, behind closed doors, and all encased with DRM. Valve knows they are a software company, and the issues they can have when they go into the hardware world (China and the little respect over IP?)
Valve has stated that hardware hasn’t moved along in years. We still use the keyboard and mouse along with a monitor for PC gaming. They see we need a change in some regards, and this is where VR comes in.
I’m just happy that Valve sees places to innovate, move forward, and ultimately increase the value us consumers get out of our products. Sadly, some think it should be the other way, locking down everything, and creating a monopoly or oligopoly.