Valve's first in-house virtual reality hardware should be dropping at your door soon, if you were one of the lucky ones to order it quickly in the first batch. Additionally, Gabe Newell and others held speeches at a little launch party.
You can see the video of the speeches below:
It's quite hard to hear what co-founder Gabe Newell actually says, as he addresses both Valve employees and visitors, since he decided not to use a microphone. I've listened and done my best to quote him and yes, there was a Half-Life 3 joke included:
The history at Valve, we had a lot of significant milestones. We had Half-Life our first single-player game, we had Source that was our first engine, we had Counter-Strike our first multiplayer game, then we had Steam and Workshop and Mac and Linux support just on and on. Index is another of those critical milestones for our company. Which represents a tremendous amount of hard work and creativity on your parts.
This represents a significant breakthrough in the field, visual fidelity and all that implies in terms of optical design, panel design, industrial design that's a real breakthrough. Knuckles, is hugely important not only for how it's going to help ourselves and our game partners make their games better but how it enables entirely new kinds of games.
Milestones aren't really the end of anything, they're really the beginning. So Half-Life led to Half-Life 2, Source led to Source 2, the experiments we did with Team Fortress 2 were what enabled us to build Dota. Artifact is the reason we're able to do Underlords, so maybe someday the number 2 will lead us to that shiny integer glowing on a mountain someplace, we'll just have to see.
We're gonna all look back at some point and realise the consequences of what we've built with your creativity and your hard work, for us and for all of our customers.
*Gabe Newell then addresses the "Green Tag people" (visitors)*
Shipping a product isn't the end, it's really the beginning. So in the case of the Index there's going to be some obvious next steps. It's simple for us to broaden our distribution from outside US, EU and other countries. There's obvious ways for us to lower the cost, there's obvious ways to the product lighter and improve the ergonomics, but then we get to speculative issues. We are looking at several methods of doing untethered Index, we have a lot of ideas for kind of revolutionary things to do with display optical technology, there's lots of opportunities to continue to improve, the volumes your tracked in, those are going to be pretty fundamental opportunities.
What they're going to enable is the best part of this, when you're going to start seeing new VR games from Valve and from our other partners and that's where you guys come in. See it's very hard for us to develop a product to work at Valve without customers, and we have to guess what's important and what trade offs we should make and will this be valuable to you. We can sort of run a simulation in our head but it's so much better when we actually have real customers we can engage with. We';re really entering the best time as creators, we're reaching a time when you guys are involved, you not only telling us how to deal with Index you're teaching us how to make Index better and that's awesome, such an exciting time for all of us.
If you're looking to buy one now, you're in for a wait as the store page on Steam is currently noting shipping by September 30th for some bundles, with the headset by itself not having a date.
This is going to be a very interesting time for PC gaming, quite exciting really especially if Valve are going to be putting out some VR games. However, I do hope they remember all those who cannot afford the hardware or prefer not to use it. I guess that all depends on how many people pick it up of course but considering it sold out early-on during the pre-orders, it's looking like it will do rather well.
I've emailed Valve again today to see if we're getting a unit, we were initially told we were but additional emails since have gone unanswered—I'm hoping the emails just got buried.