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Reports: Valve making their own VR HMD and apparently a new VR Half-Life

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It appears Valve are truly getting more serious about Virtual Reality as they appear to be making their own headset. On top of that, apparently a new Half-Life VR game is coming.

Leaked to an imgur album, which contains multiple shots of the new hardware. These includes shots clearly showing a Valve logo:

The uploadvr website has claimed they have had it confirmed by various sources that it is in fact real. As someone who really wants to try VR, I am hopeful Valve will be able to give it a decent price. The current price for most VR hardware is simply out of reach for a lot of people, myself included.

Even more interesting, is that Valve are apparently working on a new Half-Life which will be a VR title. That certainly could be one way to push adoption, I imagine that would turn a few heads that otherwise wouldn't have been interested. Could backfire too of course, if it's VR-only. To keep expectations in check though, reportedly it's a Half-Life 2 prequel and not Half-Life 3.

Valve News Network also have this video up about the Half-Life game which is interesting:

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Considering Microsoft is making moves buying up more studios and making another attempt to fix up the Windows Store, along with some bigger players leaving Steam like Activision, EA, Bethesda with the new Fallout and all this together should make Valve at least a bit worried. Their current growth will only last so long, if others continue to leave and become exclusive to other stores.

Valve obviously need to make moves of their own and it looks like doubling down on VR is what they had in mind. The amount of people that currently own a VR headset as reported on the Steam Hardware Survey is still extremely low (lower than the Linux share) so Valve really will need a decent price on it.

It does make you think about Valve's future plans. They're doing this new VR hardware, some new games and pushing Steam Play to get more games on Linux. Would it be too far-fetched to consider a new Steam Machine? One continued to be powered by their SteamOS Linux distribution that allows VR support out of the box along with a huge back catalogue of previously Windows-only games.

That's a pipe dream of mine though really and I'm basically thinking out loud at this point, as I'm sure it's just different teams working on their own thing. However, if it did all come together, that could be amazing.

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94 comments
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Seegras 11 November 2018 at 11:32 pm UTC
kuhpunkt
SeegrasEvery first-person perspective game would be basically better with VR, unless it needs a lot of GUI.

That is far from the truth. Imagine Quake 3 in VR. How are you supposed to move? That just doesn't work. VR is its own thing.
How am I moving when using a normal screen? Exactly.

Yes, there's a problem because you don't know where your fingers on the keyboard are, thus some kind of controller would help; but otherwise this works as expected.
TheRiddick 11 November 2018 at 11:33 pm UTC
If their going to continue down this VR path I hope they at least have the commonsense to go large FOV like 150 or more.

VR is still pretty expensive, people must first afford the PC capable of doing VR at decent framerates, most VR enthusiasts consider the 1080ti as a base minimal.. so it could be a very long time before VR picks up.

If PC hardware and LCD tech didn't jump in price over the past couple years then things would be smooth sailing. It's ironic now that CONSOLES are the savior of VR moving forward with PS5, I don't think MS want VR.
Cestarian 12 November 2018 at 2:53 am UTC
lelouch
CestarianPersonally I think VR can work out, for most games even, we need a middle step, where both keyboard and mouse are fully replaced by some superior peripheral (maybe something like EEG+speech recognition) and then that needs to be further improved to also be the replacement and successor of the (currently shoddy) motion control gimmick.

speech-recog. in-game??? In FPS?

More likely: your both hands are the mouse buttons (optical recog)
eyetracking+gyro for mouse cusor movement
maybe a hardware wheel (e.g. changing items/weapons)

Yeah, maybe voice for menu navigation. (because slow reaction-times) - but I think voice is not good enough for gaming in years.

Maybe touching in the air for simple stuff.

Replacing a whole keyboard, would be overhead - keeping it simple, minmalistic few buttons in VR,

Lol, no EEG would be used for things like in-game movement, mouse and actions. speech recognition would be just for speech recognition (e.g. to replace the keyboard, for typing; if speech recognition software is perfected, it's a superior alternative for typing. for the most part)


Last edited by Cestarian at 12 November 2018 at 2:53 am UTC
bubexel 12 November 2018 at 8:30 am UTC
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TheRiddickIf their going to continue down this VR path I hope they at least have the commonsense to go large FOV like 150 or more.

VR is still pretty expensive, people must first afford the PC capable of doing VR at decent framerates, most VR enthusiasts consider the 1080ti as a base minimal.. so it could be a very long time before VR picks up.

If PC hardware and LCD tech didn't jump in price over the past couple years then things would be smooth sailing. It's ironic now that CONSOLES are the savior of VR moving forward with PS5, I don't think MS want VR.

Check for Microsoft Mixed Reality.

VR and AR is the future of gaming. I remember when appeared the flat monitors that people was saying that never was going to work for gaming... there is no one with CRT monitors nowdays. Technology evolve and solve the problems, those high prices, resolution, weight, etc... will be solve with next years as in other kind of technology. About motion sickness, seems no one remember the first FPS games that was making motion sickness like doom , etc... But nowdays nobody get motion sickness because your brain is used to it. If you play some days in a row with VR you wont get motion sickness anymore. I understand those people that can not afford that technology and they want autoconvince that it wont be the future. But the reality is that in 10 years all of you will be talking about with hmd you bought like now you do about wich video card you or monitor you get.
kuhpunkt 12 November 2018 at 11:58 am UTC
Seegras
kuhpunkt
SeegrasEvery first-person perspective game would be basically better with VR, unless it needs a lot of GUI.

That is far from the truth. Imagine Quake 3 in VR. How are you supposed to move? That just doesn't work. VR is its own thing.
How am I moving when using a normal screen? Exactly.

Yes, there's a problem because you don't know where your fingers on the keyboard are, thus some kind of controller would help; but otherwise this works as expected.

It seems like you've never experienced VR. Correct me if I'm wrong... but playing VR games with keyboard and mouse aren't really good. Just explain to me how you're supposed to aim, view and turn around with a VR headset and keyboard mouse.
Eike 12 November 2018 at 12:03 pm UTC
kuhpunktIt seems like you've never experienced VR. Correct me if I'm wrong... but playing VR games with keyboard and mouse aren't really good. Just explain to me how you're supposed to aim, view and turn around with a VR headset and keyboard mouse.

I guess you could turn around with your head (games needs to make sure enemies don't come from behind, or have some 180° turning key) and aim with the mouse. You're shown some crosshair. I'm not sure it would feel natural, though, having something in your hand that feels like (parts of) an actual gun would be better.
kuhpunkt 12 November 2018 at 12:07 pm UTC
Eike
kuhpunktIt seems like you've never experienced VR. Correct me if I'm wrong... but playing VR games with keyboard and mouse aren't really good. Just explain to me how you're supposed to aim, view and turn around with a VR headset and keyboard mouse.

I guess you could turn around with your head (games needs to make sure enemies don't come from behind, or have some 180° turning key) and aim with the mouse. You're shown some crosshair. I'm not sure it would feel natural, though, having something in your hand that feels like (parts of) an actual gun would be better.

Yeah, and that doesn't work. I mean VR shooters can work of course. But he claimed that it would work just the same and that you could basically implement VR into any ego shooter. That just doesn't work.
poisond 12 November 2018 at 12:35 pm UTC
kuhpunkt
Eike
kuhpunktIt seems like you've never experienced VR. Correct me if I'm wrong... but playing VR games with keyboard and mouse aren't really good. Just explain to me how you're supposed to aim, view and turn around with a VR headset and keyboard mouse.

I guess you could turn around with your head (games needs to make sure enemies don't come from behind, or have some 180° turning key) and aim with the mouse. You're shown some crosshair. I'm not sure it would feel natural, though, having something in your hand that feels like (parts of) an actual gun would be better.

Yeah, and that doesn't work. I mean VR shooters can work of course. But he claimed that it would work just the same and that you could basically implement VR into any ego shooter. That just doesn't work.

Of course it works. I've played HL2 with KB&mouse on the DK2.
It wasn't anywhere as good as playing with the Vive controllers or even a plain gamepad, but it worked.
kuhpunkt 12 November 2018 at 12:54 pm UTC
poisond
kuhpunkt
Eike
kuhpunktIt seems like you've never experienced VR. Correct me if I'm wrong... but playing VR games with keyboard and mouse aren't really good. Just explain to me how you're supposed to aim, view and turn around with a VR headset and keyboard mouse.

I guess you could turn around with your head (games needs to make sure enemies don't come from behind, or have some 180° turning key) and aim with the mouse. You're shown some crosshair. I'm not sure it would feel natural, though, having something in your hand that feels like (parts of) an actual gun would be better.

Yeah, and that doesn't work. I mean VR shooters can work of course. But he claimed that it would work just the same and that you could basically implement VR into any ego shooter. That just doesn't work.

Of course it works. I've played HL2 with KB&mouse on the DK2.
It wasn't anywhere as good as playing with the Vive controllers or even a plain gamepad, but it worked.

Yeah, it "worked." But there's still a shit ton of cognitive dissonance. Why else do you think is it that not all FPS have been updated with a VR mode by now? It's been more than 2 years.
TheSHEEEP 12 November 2018 at 1:05 pm UTC
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bubexelVR and AR is the future of gaming.
image

bubexelI remember when appeared the flat monitors that people was saying that never was going to work for gaming... there is no one with CRT monitors nowdays.
You are comparing apples and oranges.
Flat monitors never had any real problems other than price and reaction time to begin with. They were just superior in each other aspect. And that both both price and reaction time would improve was clear from the beginning.
That was the time when tech still improved extremely fast - if you haven't noticed, that time is years gone.
Besides, both are just monitors, used in exactly the same way.
VR is not just the next version of monitors, it is something different.

But VR devices could get as cheap as they want, and as light as they want.
You'll still have to run around with a thing on your head vs having nothing extra on your head. And not being able to see anything around you vs. being able to see all your surroundings. Not everyone wants to get entirely lost in the screen, not by far.
There are just so many issues here that can never be solved and will always make normal monitors superior for everyday use.

bubexelTechnology evolve and solve the problems, those high prices, resolution, weight, etc... will be solve with next years as in other kind of technology.
You're blindly believing in tech. As someone who actually works in tech, I think that is maximally foolish.
You can not solve problems that can not be solved in theory.
VR's main problems are not in the practical nature, but already the theory, no amount of tech improvement will make them go away.

bubexelAbout motion sickness, seems no one remember the first FPS games that was making motion sickness like doom , etc... But nowdays nobody get motion sickness because your brain is used to it.
That is absolutely not how it works. Except for people who do get general motion sickness from FPS games, nobody ever got motion sick from these games.
This is the same kind of urban myth as delirium furiosum (some people believed you would get dumb from riding in a train in the early 19th century).

bubexelBut the reality is that in 10 years all of you will be talking about with hmd you bought like now you do about wich video card you or monitor you get.
The funny thing is that 10 years ago (well, 8, Oculus Rift prototype was 2011 afair), people believed the same thing. And where are we now? Exactly.
Let's talk again in 10 years, see if you still think it will be the future in 10 years ;)

I can definitely see it gaining more traction if there will ever be blockbuster VR movies allowing you to actually look around during the movie. But even then I don't see every or even many movies featuring that.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 12 November 2018 at 1:10 pm UTC
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