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Valve Reveals VR Headset as Next Hardware Project

After being entrenched in the same videogame console generation for close to seven years now, it's clear that the games industry is in need of innovation. You might point to motion control gaming as a sign that creativity hasn't been drained from the industry entirely, but the Nintendo Wii is six-years-old now and well past its prime.

Innovation seems to be trending towards wearable computing. From Google's Project Glass to the John Carmack-endorsed Oculus Rift, virtual reality headsets may just be on the horizon for the next generation. Valve, beloved PC developer, is apparently jumping on board the VR headset train.

Recently, there have been whisperings of the possibility of Valve developing a new console. A recent job posting on Valve's site for an industrial designer, which stated, "We’re [Valve] frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we’re jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There’s a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked," added some weight to these rumors. However, a recent NY Times article indicated that Valve's interest in an industerial designer may not be for a "Steam box", but instead, a VR headset.

The company showed an early prototype to the Times. Valve's Michael Abrash heads up Valve's VR endeavor, although you shouldn't take that as an official affirmation that Valve will be unveiling a complete VR headset in a few years. According to Abrash, the company may end up not producing the headset, but would gladly share its designs with other companies.

Though EA's Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore poo-poos the idea of wearable computing becoming part of the mainstream, claiming "It’s appealing to them [Gabe Newell and Sergey Brin] because they live in that outer fringe of I.Q. and money," with Oculus Rift's successful Kickstarter and Valve's entry into VR development, VR gaming doesn't seem so far away.

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  • jackbling
    I hope they team up with the oculus rift guys, as they already have a strong community following; if these headsets are going to take off, there needs to be uniform support.(i desperately want these to succeed.)
    Reply
  • southernshark
    Why would they even quote a crap company like EA at the end of the article? Who cares what EA thinks?

    EA thinks we are all idiots who want to buy another copy of Madden Football.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    jackblingI hope they team up with the oculus rift guys, as they already have a strong community following; if these headsets are going to take off, there needs to be uniform support.(i desperately want these to succeed.)
    I agree. If they try and make a competing headset, all its going to do is fracture the community that would be willing to support these kind of devices. Team up and make it even better!
    Reply
  • internetlad
    southernsharkEA thinks we are all idiots who want to buy another copy of Madden Football.
    That's because all most of us idiots want to buy is another copy of Madden Football.

    or CoD.
    Reply
  • fonzy
    Hopefully there next project after this will be Half-Life 3.
    Reply
  • bruce555
    fonzyHopefully there next project after this will be Half-Life 3.What if this project is meant to be after HL3?... Or with HL3, or... (gone to count total letters/words in Valve's statement to see if that number is divisible by 3).
    Reply
  • house70
    fonzyHopefully there next project after this will be Half-Life 3.This is what you'll use to play HL3.
    Reply
  • fonzy
    bruce555What if this project is meant to be after HL3?... Or with HL3, or... (gone to count total letters/words in Valve's statement to see if that number is divisible by 3).
    I was being sarcastic but yeah this could be the reason why HL3 has taken so long. My patience is wearing thin though.
    Reply
  • southernshark
    internetladThat's because all most of us idiots want to buy is another copy of Madden Football.or CoD.

    Well at least you can recognize that you are an idiot. I guess that's a step in the right direction.
    Reply
  • teh_chem
    Call me lazy, but I like the fact that I can zone-out in my chair and use my keyboard and mouse. I can already go outside when I want to physically interact with the world.
    Reply