Or should that be HTC's VR headset?
Ahead of their GDC presentation on 3/03 at 3PM (seriously, you'd better announce it now), Valve have revealed the headset that will support SteamVR. A cooperative venture with HTC, the newly-christened Vive is set to release this Christmas, compatible with SteamOS and a range of games to be released "soon."
Beyond a mean-looking aesthetic that vaguely calls Ghost In The Shell and Destiny to mind (note that the consumer version could well change in cosmetically), the Vive packs a 1200 x 1080 pixel screen for each eye and a refresh rate of 90 frames per second. High resolution and frame rate are critical for mitigating the effects of simulation sickness, so these premium specifications are music to our ears. And stomachs.
An onboard gyrosensor, accelerometer and laser position sensor that can apparently track head movements to 0.1 of a degree. You'll be able to sync up the Vive with two SteamVR base stations to track your location in a 15x15 foot grid, allowing you to leave your seat.
"Vive offers the most immersive experience of any VR package, plunging people into other worlds at a moment's notice. HTC and Valve have introduced a Full Room Scale 360 Degree Solution with Tracked Controllers, letting you get up, walk around and explore your virtual space, inspect objects from every angle and truly interact with your surroundings."
"HTC is also introducing new wireless VR controllers that will make you feel one with your virtual environment. The new HTC VR Controllers come in a pair and are designed to be so versatile that they will work with a wide range of VR experiences. Unlike typical game controllers, the HTC VR Controllers are simple and intuitive to use, helping everyone make the most of their experience."
It's an interesting move from the two companies, and it's great to see another big player enter the VR space. To become an industry rather than a passionate if niche community, Virtual Reality needs several devices and key players, all competing yet all providing a home for VR games while pushing the message that it's the Next Big Thing.
What about the games, then? Apparently a number of SteamVR titles will be arriving "soon," and presumably we might hear about one or two at Valve's GDC session. The one at 3:00 Pacific time. On the third day of the third month.
Come on, Valve. It's time to stop trolling and start the ball rolling.