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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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Nezchan 12 November 2018 at 1:38 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP
bubexelVR and AR is the future of gaming.
image

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).

In fact, I'm one of those people whose brains "never got used to it". Back in the CRT days, I used to love the Half-Life games. Played them a lot, especially 2. But when flatscreen monitors came out, I found myself getting tremendously queasy after about a half-hour of play and that feeling would hang on for a couple of hours. I didn't know anything about others having similar problems until much later, just that I couldn't play, or even watch, those games at all. It wasn't until after I found the same problem with the Metro games that I found out about Simulation Sickness.

Which is the reason game companies put FoV sliders on games. Why Croteam has an entire menu dedicated to things like that, head bob, blur and so forth which can exacerbate the problems.

Awful lot of trouble to go to when nobody ever got sick from them, though. Maybe they should stop.
bubexel 12 November 2018 at 1:52 pm UTC
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TheSHEEEP
bubexelVR and AR is the future of gaming.
image

Same laughings 25 years ago when i was saying 3D was the future of gaming.

Just check the history of Sega and Sony, one tought the future was 3D gaming and other not... guess who won.

Seems John Carmack saw 3D was the future and now is VR. Like or hate it, but its the future.


Last edited by bubexel at 12 November 2018 at 1:55 pm UTC
poisond 12 November 2018 at 1:55 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPAnd 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.
...

Well, that's the whole point of VR - immersion. You do not want to see your surroundings in VR.

The Vive still has a camera so you can get an overlay view if you want a sip from your drink.
poisond 12 November 2018 at 4:28 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP
Cestarian
TheSHEEEP
CestarianVR was basically DOA, and until we get proper peripherals for it instead of roomscale and motion controller trash, it will remain DOA.
Absolutely.
A tech gadget for those with enough money. And space, maybe space is even more important for those games with actual motion controls.
Every time a new VR gadget comes out, the "big future" of VR is announced, and yet, it just doesn't spread. I don't know how many more attempts it will take until even the most diehard fans realize VR is not "the future".
There are just too many games that would never work with VR (or gain absolutely no benefit from it), so that there's just no good reason to reach that deep into one's pockets. Not even beginning to talk about all the other downsides (discomfort, clunkiness, etc.).
It will have its niche, and that niche might even grow a bit (certainly enough to house a few VR-exclusive devs), but that's about it.

Personally 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.
Yeah, maybe, some day, but I honestly doubt it will happen within the foreseeable future.

Even eye tracking doesn't really do it, because with kb&m I can do multiple things quickly without even looking.
Speech wouldn't help, either, as speaking a command would take longer than doing a few clicks.

I really couldn't think of anything that would be able to reach or improve on the precision offered by mouse & keyboard - short of "reading" one's mind and translating that into input commands.
And that just sounds like extreme scifi to me. Though if that ever happens, count me in ;)

Did you ever try the Vive controllers?
They're pretty precise and you do have two of them so you can even dual-wield(pretty fun in Serious Sam and Skyrim VR). You can aim much faster than with a mouse - just point your controller at the target.
There's touch pads you can use for movement and turning.
And I don't even know what you'd want a keyboard for in a VR game.
ScrollingSquirrel 12 November 2018 at 4:37 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP
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.
VR is the next version of monitors. This is why people call VR the final computing platform because you can simulate infinite amounts of perfect monitor setups or have screens that you can never own in real life.

VR would also let you see your surroundings just fine when you have the headset scanning real life and having full AR capabilities later on would only make this more useful.

There are zero issues that can't be solved aside from wearing something on your head which won't even be an issue when it's just a pair of glasses as well as motion sickness which GVS may or may not fix, and even if it doesn't you won't get sick if your movement is your own, which it would be if you are just simulating screens.

You might work in tech but you don't work in VR so you have nothing to go off on what can be solved and what cannot.

And does it really matter what people said 8 years ago? People always make wild acusations about technology, but if we listen to everyone in the VR industry, we know that they never envisioned anything taking off until the 2020s.


Last edited by ScrollingSquirrel at 12 November 2018 at 5:18 pm UTC
kuhpunkt 12 November 2018 at 4:38 pm UTC
poisondYou can aim much faster than with a mouse - just point your controller at the target.
There's touch pads you can use for movement and turning.
And I don't even know what you'd want a keyboard for in a VR game.

A mouse is faster for aiming. You just have to slightly move it to turn around and all that stuff.
ScrollingSquirrel 12 November 2018 at 5:16 pm UTC
poisond
TheSHEEEP
Cestarian
TheSHEEEP
CestarianVR was basically DOA, and until we get proper peripherals for it instead of roomscale and motion controller trash, it will remain DOA.
Absolutely.
A tech gadget for those with enough money. And space, maybe space is even more important for those games with actual motion controls.
Every time a new VR gadget comes out, the "big future" of VR is announced, and yet, it just doesn't spread. I don't know how many more attempts it will take until even the most diehard fans realize VR is not "the future".
There are just too many games that would never work with VR (or gain absolutely no benefit from it), so that there's just no good reason to reach that deep into one's pockets. Not even beginning to talk about all the other downsides (discomfort, clunkiness, etc.).
It will have its niche, and that niche might even grow a bit (certainly enough to house a few VR-exclusive devs), but that's about it.

Personally 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.
Yeah, maybe, some day, but I honestly doubt it will happen within the foreseeable future.

Even eye tracking doesn't really do it, because with kb&m I can do multiple things quickly without even looking.
Speech wouldn't help, either, as speaking a command would take longer than doing a few clicks.

I really couldn't think of anything that would be able to reach or improve on the precision offered by mouse & keyboard - short of "reading" one's mind and translating that into input commands.
And that just sounds like extreme scifi to me. Though if that ever happens, count me in ;)

Did you ever try the Vive controllers?
They're pretty precise and you do have two of them so you can even dual-wield(pretty fun in Serious Sam and Skyrim VR). You can aim much faster than with a mouse - just point your controller at the target.
There's touch pads you can use for movement and turning.
And I don't even know what you'd want a keyboard for in a VR game.
It's extremely important that people know that VR can let all of your surroundings in with newer tech because this is one point people see as unfixable. People like TheSHEEEP haven't thought of any solution and make the assumption that therefore, it can never happen. Well it turns out it has been publically demonstrated and will become a core part of VR throughout the 2020s. Isolation is never going to be a problem unless you want it to be, which is how it should be - choice.
MayeulC 12 November 2018 at 5:42 pm UTC
NezchanIn fact, I'm one of those people whose brains "never got used to it". Back in the CRT days, I used to love the Half-Life games. Played them a lot, especially 2. But when flatscreen monitors came out, I found myself getting tremendously queasy after about a half-hour of play and that feeling would hang on for a couple of hours.

Mmm, if that's just CRT vs Flat screen, maybe you should try investing in a low persistence display? It's usually branded as "lightboost" or something alike ("motion blur reduction", and maybe those branded with a 1ms response time), and is basically a strobing backlight. Throw in some adaptative sync support for good measure, and higher framerates.

I'm myself pondering about whether to change my aging (10 years) display, as it starts to "display" signs of failure (flashing backlight when at 40%+).

Incidentally, most of those VR headsets have low persistence, high framerate displays. I would like to experiment with fully immersive 3D "desktop environments" when/if I get one.

kuhpunkt
poisondYou can aim much faster than with a mouse - just point your controller at the target.
There's touch pads you can use for movement and turning.
And I don't even know what you'd want a keyboard for in a VR game.

A mouse is faster for aiming. You just have to slightly move it to turn around and all that stuff.

Yeah, but that makes it harder to look at your surroundings while aiming. So, trade-offs. Modern combat aircraft pilots aim with their headset, while piloting with their hands.


Last edited by MayeulC at 12 November 2018 at 5:44 pm UTC
Nezchan 12 November 2018 at 6:07 pm UTC
MayeulC
NezchanIn fact, I'm one of those people whose brains "never got used to it". Back in the CRT days, I used to love the Half-Life games. Played them a lot, especially 2. But when flatscreen monitors came out, I found myself getting tremendously queasy after about a half-hour of play and that feeling would hang on for a couple of hours.

Mmm, if that's just CRT vs Flat screen, maybe you should try investing in a low persistence display? It's usually branded as "lightboost" or something alike ("motion blur reduction", and maybe those branded with a 1ms response time), and is basically a strobing backlight. Throw in some adaptative sync support for good measure, and higher framerates.

I'm myself pondering about whether to change my aging (10 years) display, as it starts to "display" signs of failure (flashing backlight when at 40%+).

Incidentally, most of those VR headsets have low persistence, high framerate displays. I would like to experiment with fully immersive 3D "desktop environments" when/if I get one.

In the case of monitors, it's a widescreen issue. On old CRT monitors which weren't as wide typically, FoV wasn't a big issue. But on widescreen monitors it is, as the video below illustrates.

https://youtu.be/blZUao2jTGA

Now I haven't researched nausea on VR so I don't know the causes involved (presumably not quite the same as FoV), but I do know there have been a significant number of reports and it's something that VR makers have to overcome if it's going to become ubiquitous like some folks here think it will. Plus you have to overcome the hesitation on the part of people who are nausea-prone who don't want to spend all that money to take their chances and maybe end up sick anyway.
slaapliedje 12 November 2018 at 6:20 pm UTC
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CestarianVR was basically DOA, and until we get proper peripherals for it instead of roomscale and motion controller trash, it will remain DOA.
VR is amazing. Seriously amazing. I don't know how you can say roomscale is trash. The controllers work well enough for a first iteration on the Vive (been waiting for Knuckles forever).

Unless you've tried some of the amazing things that VR can already do, you are talking out of your ass.

Cost is probably the only real prohibitive thing, and the cost is always going to go down.
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