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This is what Valve’s VR headset now looks like

Tuesday, 3rd June 2014 10:32 GMT By Dave Cook

Valve took its VR headset to a recent virtual reality jam in Boston where attendees were given time to test it out. One developer has posted his impressions of the device along with some photos. What a hero.

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It follows the revelation that Valve won’t be bringing the VR headset to market as a product you can by, but rather, it wants to fully understand the medium so it can better sell virtual reality games on Steam and so forth. Will the company u-turn on this stance or not? That remains to be seen.

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Either way, Reddit user jonomf has posted his account of Valve’s hardware along with the photo above. Look at him there, in his wee virtual world.

In his write-up he touched upon the device’s head-tracking tech, which is said to allow for greater interaction through movements and reduce motion sickness. “After I tried the demos, I was asking about The Room (Valve’s Holodeck setup with AR trackers on the walls), and asked if it would be viable to do edge detection in an arbitrary space to get inside-out (cameras on the HMD looking out) positional tracking, and the guy from Valve said “no, that’s not fast enough; we have a different solution already.”

“My speculation has run dry — what do you guys think it could be that doesn’t involve trackers on the wall, edge detection, or external cameras? And I’m assuming not STEM or a similar sensor, since they’re not as accurate as cameras, and Valve & Oculus are looking for the least-cumbersome experience.”

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Obviously, you couldn’t build a Valve AR room in your own home because that’s not practical at all, so it’s still unclear how Valve views the future of commercial VR. We’re guessing it must have an idea, even if it’s not making a device for market.

On Valve’s demos, he added, “Talking with the Valve guys about that Portal office experience, they mentioned offhandedly that they have a Dota 2 VR experience where you see the entire game arena sitting on a table in front of you and can bend down to inspect any piece of the action. I really, really want to see that. They also mentioned a life-size Dota 2 VR experience where you’re hanging out in a lane watching the heroes fight; they said it was very scary.”

“Needless to say, the experience in the HMD is amazing,” he went on, “low persistence, perfect tracking (within the camera of course), very high frame rate. I don’t get sim sickness with the DK1 as it is, but nonetheless felt much more comfortable in the Valve units.

“However, I did consistently have major disorientation after leaving the HMD: I felt a little fuzzy and distant, and once felt like I was going to fall over. I felt something similar the very first time I came out of the DK1, never since, but every time after leaving the Valve units (4 or 5 times).”

Hit up the Reddit post above for more details, but for now, what do you think?

Via Eurogamer.

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7 Comments

  1. Dave Cook

    Does it make sense that Valve isn’t brining this to market? If Oculus does work at retail (eventually) I could see them offering it via web order or something.

    #1 4 months ago
  2. Tormenter

    I would buy a steam headset in a flat second… PLEASE VALVE BRING ONE OUT (although I don’t think they will :()

    Occulus is ENTIRELY off my radar now, I wouldn’t take it if you a gave me one for free, So it looks like Sony are the great white hope ATM.

    #2 4 months ago
  3. Samurai

    @Tormenter Facebook owning oculus rift isn’t going to inhibit the content you can get on the device. People just assume it’s going to be a Facebook login device that blocks all inappropriate content and shares your experiences.

    Besides, it’s now going to be a saturated market, which is not good. “This software only works for Valve VR”, “This game is not compatible with Sony VR”. It’ll be a nightmare if there isn’t unified software for these devices.

    #3 4 months ago
  4. Tormenter

    @Samurai

    Who’s talking about innovation?

    I don’t CARE what FB does for OC, it’s the fact that they have it at all that’s the issue.

    Screw Luckey for the sellout shit that he is.. he was funded to bring the OC to market, he WASN’T funded to gain popularity then fill his pockets by selling out before completion.

    OC is dead… it needed the backing of the hardcore crowd and they’ve lost that, or at the VERY least fractured their possible customer base beyond fixing. This thing would NEVER appeal to your average casual user, I don’t think they’ve come to realise this yet.

    Idiots, the whole bunch of them.

    #4 4 months ago
  5. deathm00n

    @Tormenter “This thing would NEVER appeal to your average casual user.” Guess what, me and my boss (we work with it, not for gaming, but for virtual showcases) showed it to 10 casual gamers we live with (really casual, they only play Mario Kart 64 and Left 4 Dead) and they fucking love it. No one questioned that it is too big or too expensive, they just find it so awesome that they don’t care about the downsides. Only one of them didn’t like it, because we were playing horror games and he’s easily scared. 9 out of 10 casuals to me is a lot of appeal.

    “he WASN’T funded to gain popularity then fill his pockets by selling out before completion.” Yeah, keep believing that companies does things to please their consumers instead of earning money.

    #5 4 months ago
  6. Tormenter

    @deathm00n

    Of course they loved it, it’s NEWWWWWW… but that’s NOT going to translate into sales.

    Someone made a comment that even if your average Joe did buy the first one they certainly wouldn’t have a need to buy an update because the novelty would be gone and it would only be the novelty that would be the initial draw. Casual users aren’t going to sit with a bloody headset on, certainly not very often anyway.

    #6 4 months ago
  7. TheWulf

    @1

    I really hope they change their minds on that, honestly. I think they’re just saying that for now because they only have a prototype, not a product. I think when it crosses the line from prototype to something they could actually sell, they may change their tune.

    Two things are worth considering, here:

    1.) The Facebook buyout of Oculus Rift left a lot of fans and ex-Oculus developers feeling cold. Once this happened, there were cancellations for Oculus games or Oculus versions of things across the board. Valve could pick up all that action.

    2.) The only viable competitor at the moment is Sony’s thingy (which I’m not saying to antagonise the Sony fans, but rather because I don’t actually remember the name of the darn thing). There isn’t a real viable competitor on the PC now that the Oculus has lost favour, so Valve could push Steam for the living room even further.

    I think it’d be silly and economically unsound for them to not market this. I could understand not wanting to when the Oculus was in full swing, but now it’s not an indie PR device, it’s merely ‘Facebook’s newest thing,’ which is more associated with a very different kind of market. Of course, that’s going to fall flat on its face, in my opinion, since extroverts hate VR — they prefer AR (augmented reality) akin to Google Glass.

    Valve is still much more of a core experience, I think. The mirror of something like Big Fish — selling to a different kind of audience. So they’d likely find there’s a demographic there who’d be interested in this. At the very least, I’d run a poll to see how many would be interested in buying something like this.

    But yeah. Silly of them not to, if they don’t.

    @3

    “[...] isn’t going to inhibit the content you can get on the device.”

    I don’t agree, it’s now ‘Facebook’s new thing,’ so Zuckerberg is likely going to push for it to be a very ‘Facebook thing,’ otherwise the acquisition wouldn’t make sense. He clearly has a vision for the product, and that might be very, very selective. And since he now has complete ownership, he’s the one who dictates what happens.

    How often have we fallen prey to wishful thinking with demonstrably evil megacorps in the past? “EA bought that developer, but they said they did it just to support the kinds of games they make. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.” It took a sizeable amount of people many more closures than just Origin to realise EA’s game.

    So I’m not going to be a slave to wishful thinking where Zuckerberg is involved. In my opinion, Facebook is worse than EA. It’s like comparing the mumps to syphilis.

    And you really believe the Oculus Rift will live through that, unscathed?

    I can’t say that I could be so optimistic.

    @5

    Yeah, for about five minutes. The problem with extroverts is that novelty only lasts five minutes before they begin to crave the familiar — it’ll make them feel isolated, nauseous, and weird, and they’ll just return to playing games on their tablets or couches. This is the reason why extroverts are so regressive in general, they’ll try something new just to leech off of the good vibes of doing that, doing it more for you than them, but they won’t embrace it.

    They were likely just being polite and wishing that they had Candy Crush on their tablet instead of this rot on their head. So I’m not convinced, but we’ll see, eh? I could be wrong, but I have very sincere doubts that I am. I’ve come to gain a great understanding of people, especially according to personality types. MBTI has it spot on, and the ES** personality type is the most common, and the most boring.

    So, yeah, your Candy Crush playing friends might feign interest, but they’re not doing so for the reasons you think they are.

    It’s the same reason they karaoke.

    @6

    Of course they loved it, it’s NEWWWWWW… but that’s NOT going to translate into sales.

    HA! Exactly. Extroverts don’t embrace novelty, they have fleeting embraces with it, only to find out that they don’t actually like it. And mostly, those fleeting embraces only happen to make others happy, so that they can enjoy the good vibes. Herd mentality, basically. It’s not going to stick with them, because novelty alienates them after prolonged exposure. They just want to hang out with normal people, in normal places, doing normal things.

    Wearing a giant hunk of plastic on your head is an upset to the status quo.

    #7 4 months ago

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