The promise has been made.
Valve coming out with its own virtual reality headset has been rumored for months now. It makes sense for Valve, a company so invested in PC gaming, to compete with upstart Oculus and Sony’s Project Morpheus. When it comes to Valve however, rumors often stay rumor and the truth is never sure until everything is revealed. We were expecting some sort of announcement as GDC approached this week but HTC, a major phone manufacturer, beat everyone to the punch. HTC introduced the world to the Vive, created in partnership with Valve, with a release date for development kits this spring.
The technical specs seem pretty impressive but I’ll be the first to admit I know little about what is and isn’t important for a VR headset. 90 frames per second, 1200 x 1080 resolution, an accelerometer, a gyrosensor, and pinpoint precision head tilt sensor. Then throw in a VR base station which lets you put down the controller and will track your movement in a 15′ x 15′ space. More details are expected to come from Valve during GDC so maybe we’ll start getting more specs and some hands on impressions soon enough.
Seems right up Valve’s alley to work on and create a headset like this. Valve is known to have a research department constantly tinkering away on devices like this and I guess HTC was the company to step forward and make them a reality. The real question is if the Vive and other products like it are really creating a new market, or are they all desperate to become the next Wii. Did every tech company marvel at the success of the Wii, lament at how behind they were in catching up, and vow never to fall behind again? VR seems like a fun device to have sitting next to my PC or my console of choice but will consumers really shell out hundreds of dollars for one?