Valve VR Software and Hardware Design Philosophy discussed by GabeN himself.
VR is a rapidly growing market and pretty much every major tech company is trying to grab a market share. Sony has already took over the console gaming scene with PlayStation VR with no direct competition. Meanwhile, Oculus and Steam/HTC is trying to battle it out in the PC gaming market.
Steam developed VIVE in partnership with HTC and it is a powerful device to have if your PC can support it. What’s interesting is that Valve is not really that big when it comes to hardware development. HTC VIVE is Valve’s first major hardware release after Steam machines.
Many were left asking why Valve is not sticking to software development for VR, why the company had to risk jumping into a fresh market. Valve was silent over the questions but the company recently announced the development of three new VR games. The announcement once again sparked the question and GabeN finally revealed how they are tackling VR software and hardware development.
According to GabeN, their development philosophy is similar to Nintendo. They created a hardware and now have the luxury to mold their games according to the hardware specs and power they have.
One of the questions you might be asking is ‘Why in the world would you be making hardware?’ What we can do now is we can be designing hardware at the same time that we’re designing software. This is something that [Nintendo’s] Miyamoto has always had. He’s had the ability to think about what the input device is and design a system while he designs games. Our sense is that this will actually allow us to build much better entertainment experiences for people
He also mentioned how PC gaming has been relying on the same input devices for a long time. With the dawn VR devices, it gives developers the opportunity to work with new types of input devices. Valve itself is working on new hardware types of VR controllers.
It feels like we’ve been stuck with mouse and keyboard for a really long time and that the opportunities to build much more interesting kinds of experiences for gamers were there, we just need to sort of expand what we can do. But it’s not about being in hardware, it’s about building better games. It’s about taking bigger leaps forward with the kinds of games that we can do
Valve is popular for developing games like Portal, Team Fortress, DOTA 2, Half Life, and Counter Strike. Portal and Half Life are most likely to be getting a VR version. There have been rumors in the past of a VR Half Life 3 but that is a long shot.
Still, Portal and Half Life are at the top of the most likely list.