Valve has been involved in virtual reality from the get-go. Valve’s main input so far has been designing Steam VR and licensing out that technology to HTC for the VIVE headset. In the future though, it looks like Valve will be keeping things in-house, with recently leaked images showing off Valve’s very own headset design.
We’ve known for a couple of years now that Valve is working on new VR controllers known as ‘Knuckles’. These have already gone through several iterations and developers already have their hands on them. Valve’s hardware interests spread beyond controllers though. Over the weekend, someone leaked several high resolution images of Valve’s VR headset prototype, with a custom PCB, front facing cameras, huge lenses and attached headphones.
These images surfaced on Reddit but a couple of outlets have managed to piece a few extra bits of information together. According to Valve News Network, Valve has its own production facility dedicated to producing new hardware. The PCB seen in the images has the Valve logo printed on it, indicating that Valve is designing these in-house at this new hardware-focussed plant. The headphones you see attached to the headset are supposed to have haptic feedback too.
Beyond that, UploadVR has confirmed a few key specifications for this headset. Valve’s HMD will have a 135° FoV and the display will be similar to the one found in the VIVE Pro, with a higher 1440×1600 resolution. We don’t know when or if Valve plans to eventually release these but there are many headsets being made and tested. Right now, it would make sense for Valve to release this headset bundled with the Knuckles controllers.
In other news, another piece of information came out over the weekend. Apparently, Valve is creating a brand new Half-Life game for VR, which may come bundled with the planned headset.
KitGuru Says: Valve has had some hardware ambitions for years now and it looks like it has all been building up to this. A big push for VR with a new headset, new controllers and new games. Now we just need to wait and see where things go from here. Apparently development on this headset is pretty far along, so perhaps Valve will have a blowout year in 2019.