Friday, February 17th 2017

Valve Reportedly Indifferent to Fate of Virtual Reality Tech

It seems Valve is far from concerned about rumors of an underwhelming Virtual Reality headset market. In a recent interview with the head of the game studio, Gabe Newell said his company was still "optimistic" in regards to VR's present state of affairs, and that it's "going in a way that's consistent with our expectations." He also added that Valve was "pretty comfortable with the idea that it will turn out to be a complete failure."

VR Tech sales have come under scrutiny due, in part, to lack of information. Neither Valve nor Oculus' respective marketplaces have produced sales data, leaving speculation to run rampant. To further fuel the fire, leaked figures from late last year suggest only 140,000 HTC Vive headsets had been sold, below market expectations for what is supposed to be the next "big thing."
Valve is probably maneuvering itself into a comfortable, mostly neutral position in regards to the drama, considering that the company has invested little in the VR technologies hardware itself (the closest they have to a headset is a partnership with the HTC Vive line in the Steam Store) and Steam serves mostly as a software marketplace for whatever is selling, thus they can do well regardless of VR's success by simply selling software products from whichever field ends up being the most successful. Sources: BBC, Polygon
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73 Comments on Valve Reportedly Indifferent to Fate of Virtual Reality Tech

#1
INSTG8R
Glad Gaben says what I'm thinking.
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#2
theoneandonlymrk
He's just being honest ,3d has been the next big thing a few times now ,it's an expensive entry cost but I think it is here to stay myself.
Valve backed away from consoles and that's bad because Psvr has enough power and potential to grab people's attention and money , everyone should try resident evil 7 on it ,it's quite a thing.
I just think what valve Could do.
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#3
Brusfantomet
What can they say?
"people wants games, we sell games from the biggest game shop the world has ever seen, if they are Vr or not is not our problem"?
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#4
bug
Between this and 3D television, I wonder how many more failures it takes for the industry to get that strapping anything to user's heads is not going to be mainstream.
Sure, we get exception simulation tools. But mainstream? Fuggidaboutit.
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#6
xkm1948
VR is nothing like the 3D monitor fad. You non believers will see. It is the future and it is now.
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#7
RejZoR
Told you all VR is going to be a flop (yet again after the early 90's VR craze) and everyone laughed at me. And here we are now...
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#9
xkm1948
I bet 100% those who say this is a flop has never tried on the Vive nor Rift.
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#10
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Even if VR games fail, I think corporations have already been grabbing them left and right for use with CAD. Virtual tours of construction projects let engineers find problems before ground is broken. Finding and fixing one problem literally makes the equipment pay for itself.

I think the framework for a market has been successfully created, now it is just a matter of maturity and market proliferation. Valve can help with the former through producing AAA games which creates demand in the market. The latter takes partners and time.
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#11
R-T-B
xkm1948 said:
I bet 100% those who say this is a flop has never tried on the Vive nor Rift.
Guilty, however what little financial data we have is somewhat damning...

I personally am not opposed to the tech, just cannot afford the investment. :)
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#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
And that's the problem. If you could get VR equipment for $50, pretty much everyone would have one. The initial cost is a barrier to entry.
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#13
Blueberries
I'm not much of a gamer myself so you could say my opinion is biased but I really couldn't care less about the success of VR. AR, however, is incredibly interesting, and I believe it has practical implications. Microsoft Hololens, Google Glass, ikeGPS, for example. I like the idea of wearing a cellphone computer on my face, but personally, if I'm playing a video game, I would prefer on a screen with a controller or mouse/keyboard than VR.
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#14
oxidized
kruk said:
And yet, they are having three VR games in the works: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-02-10-valve-is-making-three-fully-fledged-vr-games
"3 VR games" doesn't mean 3 VR exclusive games, they also specified the difference there's from something like adapting an existent game like HL2VR or TF2VR (gabe used these 2 as examples) and something new with a built from the ground up VR support. It's not like valve will make 3 VR exclusive games and if you don't have a VR headset you can't play it, would be pretty stupid, and surely valve isn't stupid.
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#15
Zeki
I consider myself to be pioneer in visual gaming tech since 8800GTX and I have always had the top high end graphics card since then. I bought physx card in 2008, nvidia 3D vision in 2011, g-sync monitor in 2014. I consider VR disappointing to people like me. 90FPS is not enough. No free-sync or g-sync support. Mediocre resolution. Who is this technology for at 1100$ a headset?
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#16
atomicus
It's laughable reading comments comparing VR to 3D TV's... clearly from people who've never tried it. Everyone knows 3D TV is rubbish, it's absurd to compare it to something you haven't even seen. It's like someone who's been riding around on a horse all their lives rubbishing the idea of a motorised vehicle with an engine. Of those that have tried VR for themselves, very few would be derisive about the actual experience, save for those who suffer motion sickness.

The problem is price... VR is just too expensive for most people. It needs time to mature and for costs to be boiled down. I do think this will inevitably happen given the massive potential and promise, but if the whole venture does fall flat on its face, then it will be a Concorde moment in the tech world, which will be a terrible shame. Given adequate time and a sustained creative/technical push, VR promises an absolutely mind blowing immersive gaming/entertainment experience like nothing else. You only need to experience where it's at now to come to that understanding. I hope the industry can ride this out and keep driving it in the right direction.
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
LCDs used to be more expensive than VR headsets are now. I don't know if LCD will ever get good and cheap enough to make VR headsets mainstream but I'm confident some technology will eventually come along to make it happen.
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#18
RejZoR
xkm1948 said:
I bet 100% those who say this is a flop has never tried on the Vive nor Rift.
Because I have zero interest in flawed, primitive technology. I've seen "VR" games and they all looked pathetic. For Serious Sam VR I thought it'll be crazy in your face suicide bombers frenzy. What we actually got was a freaking Virtua Cop with monsters in 2016. Like, seriously!?
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#19
kruk
oxidized said:
... and surely valve isn't stupid.
Since they left us with that HL2: Episode 2 cliffhanger, I'm highly skeptical about their gaming development decisions :).
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#21
RejZoR
FordGT90Concept said:
Even if VR games fail, I think corporations have already been grabbing them left and right for use with CAD. Virtual tours of construction projects let engineers find problems before ground is broken. Finding and fixing one problem literally makes the equipment pay for itself.

I think the framework for a market has been successfully created, now it is just a matter of maturity and market proliferation. Valve can help with the former through producing AAA games which creates demand in the market. The latter takes partners and time.
I mean, you don't need VR for that you know... Before I ordered furniture for my room, I made a quick draft in Google Sketch. Used real dimensions, used roughly the same colors as in final product, build the room with planned furniture in it and placed my viewport into the room at standing height. I could predict how room will look like even before I actuallya had it or even walked into the shop. Behold, with a keyboard and mouse only!

Why have a 400-500€ equipment for what mouse+keyboard for 30€ can do not only perfectly fine, but exactly the same if not better since it's more precise. It's ridiculous how people push this VR nonsense just for sake of using it, even though it's cumbersome, bulky, clumsy, expensive and not really any better.

Until we somehow manage to make virtual movement of our body seamless with VR one, it'll be a pointless useless gimmick. When you'll be able to run forward and do the same in game for as long as yo want without hitting a room wall, then it'll be interesting. They'll also have to make arms detection more seamless as well, so you don't have to hold silly controllers. You'd only hold a rough aproximation of a prop you're using in a game, like rifle or steering wheel to give the physical feedback...
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#22
INSTG8R
I like my "toys" and have all the main ones ( HOTAS, Wheel/racing seat, TrackIR)so yeah this is up my alley. My take on this is IF we make it to Gen 2 then I will consider it. If it makes it that far it means it's actually staying this time.
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#23
RejZoR
I mean, I don't get it why NO ONE paired first person shooter games with VR headsets but without the dumb air waving controllers?
I'd want a control and precision of keyboard+mouse, but with in the face immersion of VR. And with ability to have head motion independent of body. So you can actually look around without moving the mouse. Or even without it, just for the sake of immersion as you don't see any screen and room around, just the in-game happenings. Something easy to port in 95% of games instead of 5% VR dedicated ones that are basically garbage.
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#24
xkm1948
RejZoR said:
Because I have zero interest in flawed, primitive technology. I've seen "VR" games and they all looked pathetic. For Serious Sam VR I thought it'll be crazy in your face suicide bombers frenzy. What we actually got was a freaking Virtua Cop with monsters in 2016. Like, seriously!?
Dude, it is nothing like what u think it is. Like I have said multiple times, if there ever are a TPU member get together i will bring my vive and force every single one of you to try.

Monitor 2D based trailer does 0 justice for how awesome VR is.
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#25
xkm1948
RejZoR said:
I mean, I don't get it why NO ONE paired first person shooter games with VR headsets but without the dumb air waving controllers?
I'd want a control and precision of keyboard+mouse, but with in the face immersion of VR. And with ability to have head motion independent of body. So you can actually look around without moving the mouse. Or even without it, just for the sake of immersion as you don't see any screen and room around, just the in-game happenings. Something easy to port in 95% of games instead of 5% VR dedicated ones that are basically garbage.
Serious Sam VR first encounter just got updates supporting key board n mouse as well as Vulkan, trying it out right now.
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