Valve Is 'Days Away' From Launching A Virtual Reality Software Development Kit

The pieces seem to be falling into place. Virtual reality gaming -- once a weird, unworkable feverish nightmarish memory from the 90s -- is slowly becoming something that could legitimately become mainstream. The Steam Box, Oculus Rift and now the connecting piece -- Valve is "days away" from releasing an SDK that provides players with a standardised way of controlling games with VR using the Steam Box.

As reported by the BBC, Valve will debut this SDK at the Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle on January 14-15.

"Steam is in a unique position to be this intermediary between hardware and software and users," said Valve designer Brian Coomer.

"Without that its going to be hard for any device to get any serious traction."

This has always been my one concern with the Oculus Rift. I've been in love with the device from the second I wore the thing, but I -- as a long time gamer -- needed help setting the thing up. What hope would the device have of hitting the mainstream if someone like me didn't find it accessible? This software development kit will hopefully make that process easier, and help give the Rift the best chance possible of gaining a large audience.

And its connection to the Steam Box -- that can only be positive. In my opinion, the Oculus Rift belongs in the living room. It belongs in that space. At least, that's where I want to be engaging with it. I've always sort of hoped that the device would ship as some sort of standalone thing, but a Steam Box with a VR settings built in may be the perfect solution. If the Rift guys were to create their own Steam Box that sold with the Rift? It's over man. It's all over.

CES 2014: Virtual reality video game tech readies for lift-off [BBC]


Comments

    I remember 'virtual reality' setups in the early 90s (i think, maybe late 80s) with the huge cumbersome head piece and big circular platform with rails... uh thing.

    I played it once and from what I can remember you were in space (I know this because it was all black with twinkling stars) on some kind of platform with some horribly low res stairs and floating objects. It reminded me of the Simpsons 3D episode, or a much lower res version of a MGS VR mission. I walked around for a bit, I had a 'gun' that had a weird thing on the end that shot like a bow and arrow (slow and with a small arc), then a pterodactyl made of about 3 polygons swooped down and killed me.

    I was underwhelmed to say the least.

    I actually found some gameplay on youtube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QiKnHxX7CY

      I'm so jealous of you for experiencing that fine piece of hardware & software, as well as being jealous of that presenter and his cool 90s jacket and hairdo

      You ever try those VR rigs at Sega world? Boy were those clunky lol

      I have to disagree - Dactyl Nightmare was cool.

      I played with a couple of mates at a shopping centre in the capital city near us on a dual setup VR rig.

      I Did not realise the headsets transmitted what was being said over the speakers to the crowd that gathered while we played - my choice comments got some interesting looks when I took the headset off.

      Thanks for the memory reminder. :D

    The World and Sword Art Online here I come! Hopefully we can get VR mmo in the coming years after oculus goes public

      Maybe not SAO, I'd prefer not to die in real life if I die in the game.

        Heh you weren't suppose to die in the original SAO.

    Previously the 'most successful' crowdfunding projects were the ones that raised the most money AND delivered some sort of product.
    The Oculus Rift was different. Their ultimate goal was to be an agent for change, to sow the seeds of true innovation and advancement of the medium beyond measures like shinier graphics. With an announcement like this, is it time to start measuring the success of that project goal?

    I'm happy Occulus, Sony, and Valve are invested in this.

    However, I don't want Valve's version to become the standard.

    If Neil Stephenson's CLANG ever gets finished, it would be a pretty good match for this. A fully immersive type of Chivalry game would be amazing.

    I don't think I really get what the Valve kit is supposed to be offering, exactly. I mean, a "standardised way of controlling games"? Won't every game be controlled differently?

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