Recent copyright awards to Valve for one VR controller lend credence to rumors that the business has been secretly developing a revolutionary VR headgear for quite a while. The business behind Steam has previously released many popular bits of kit, the most noteworthy of which are the Valve Index as well as Steam Deck, which are designed to cater to the virtual reality and mobile PC gaming markets, correspondingly.
The idea that Valve will keep pushing the envelope of virtual reality isn’t shocking in and of itself. After all, Valve’s newest Half-Life game was a virtual reality (VR) exclusive that received high praise, and the business has a history of anticipating market needs and using cutting-edge technology to create successful offerings. The company’s new invention naturally fits into this established manufacturing routine.
What is It?
In their patent application, Valve largely focuses on the details of their strap design for their “embedded controller featuring linear hand strap adjusters.” The attached graphic depicts the entire unit and could be the first public appearance of a forthcoming Valve controller. Particularly notable is the incorporation of a ring of lights within the device for aid in tracking; this feature is reminiscent of the ones already seen on the first Oculus controllers. There is no indication in the patent that it is tied to the reported Valve Deckard virtual reality headset, although this does not rule out a connection.
It’s possible that after the triumph of Steam Deck, Valve felt more confident moving forward with its hardware initiatives. Aside from the Deck, the firm’s other hardware launches, like the Steam Controller, did not achieve the same level of popularity. Exemplar: Valve Index’s price tag of about $1,000 puts it out of reach for most casual VR players.
While the company’s product divisions have been successful, it’s also worth noting that Valve is working on more than one game at the moment. It is presently unknown whether any of them will be big AAA-tier initiatives like Half-Life: Alyx, however, it appears likely that the business will eventually bet on its VR initiatives. If Valve plans to publish all these titles shortly, we should be hearing more about them in the nearish term, although only time will reveal how exactly that could work out.