Valve prepares for launch of own VR headset

14 Jan 2014

Characters from Team Fortress 2 wear competitors' Oculus Rift headsets

Prior to the official launch of its own virtual reality (VR) headset tomorrow, gaming company Valve has released a beta version of the software, Steam VR, to be used with the headset.

The headset and software has been in development for a number of months now but Valve is taking tech firm Oculus Rift’s own headset, which received glowing acclaim at CES 2014, where it won best in show.

Now, however, those who are lucky enough to be able to try out the headset can see the Steam VR for themselves as the beta platform launches online. Users will be presented with a ‘big picture mode’ that shows a large wall where the person can then select a game through the headset.

The two-day Steam development conference, Steam Dev Days, starts tomorrow in Seattle and will bring some of the industry’s biggest game developers and designers together.

Among the other things expected to appear at the event will be some more testing of the new Steam Machines and Steam controllers, which gamers visiting CES 2014 eagerly anticipated.

There are currently 14 games with VR capability on Steam, including two of Valve’s own incredibly popular titles, Team Fortress 2 and Half Life 2.

While the menu is the only accessible part of the beta now, more options and games are sure to be announced in the coming months.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic