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Valve believes “compelling” consumer-priced VR hardware is “feasible” by 2015

Tuesday, 21st January 2014 21:15 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Valve’s head of research and development Michael Abrash believes “compelling” consumer-priced VR hardware could make a splash by 2015.

Speaking during a talk at Steam Dev Days last week and reported by USA Today, Abrash said it’s possible the tech could “transform the entire entertainment industry.”

“It’s the sense of being someplace else while in virtual reality; many people feel as if they’ve been teleported,” he said. “Presence is an incredibly powerful sensation, and it’s unique to VR; there’s no way to create it in any other medium.

“You see, for latency and bandwidth reasons, presence can only happen with a head-mounted display connected to a device capable of heavy-duty 3D rendering, so there’s no way that TV, movies, streaming, or anything that lacks lots of local compute power is up to the task.”

Before full-on virtual reality can become mainstream though, developers will have to overcome “bigger and harder problems” than just what’s inherent in head-mounted displays such as Oculus VR’s Crystal Cove goggles.

“Haptics, 3D-audio, body tracking and input are going to be huge positives for presence, and they’re bigger and harder problems than head-mounted displays,” said Abrash. “I’m confident that that work will happen soon, now that we’ve demonstrated what’s possible, and if that happens, it should be feasible to have these head-mounted displays on the market within a couple of years.”

Valve announced last week it has no plans to develop a consumer VR product, and will instead work with Oculus Rift to help bring VR to PC.

You can look over Abrash’s full presentation through the PDF here.

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8 Comments

  1. Pytox

    the real nextgen :P

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Panthro

    It’s completely feasible, I know for a fact once I buy the Rift and let friends and family who don’t know of it experience what it is like they will want one.

    It’s just one of those things that needs very good marketing to make people aware of it since it is still pretty unknown to the common person.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. Tormenter

    I should bloody well hope so. Occulus was supposed to be delivered Oct 2012 according to kickstarter, and now it’s being said another year, possibly. I wonder how the backers feel about this statement.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. Panthro

    Im sure it was the prototype which was to be delivered not the final product… Are you sure?

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Tormenter

    No you’re right, that was the dev model, backers were supposed to get them Dec 2012.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. Panthro

    I just had a quick look and there doesn’t seem to be a backing option to even get the final product, they all say developer kits?

    Looks like nobody has been short changed or anything since they are all going to have to buy a consumer version anyway, its just a delay.

    Kinda expected for something of this magnitude.

    #6 10 months ago
  7. Tormenter

    Good Grief.. all this time and I hadn’t noticed that. Yes, it does seem to be developer kits all round.

    Oh well… I sit corrected.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. POOhead

    @6 wew mate you admiral ackbar ?!?!?!

    #8 10 months ago

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