Is there a bright future for virtual reality? Gabe Newell probably believes it. Speaking to IGN about Steam Deck, Valve’s new gaming laptop, President Gabe Newell says the company always saw virtual reality as a long-term project and is still in the early stages of development.
“With virtual reality, we hope it’s a very long journey and that there are fundamentally important technologies that are being developed,” says Newell. “And if at some point you’re precisely defining the gates and saying” how’s this going against the latest CS: GO update? “You’ll always end up making bad decisions based on that.”
Speaking of the success of the Valve Index and Steam Deck, Newell continues, “Our assumption is that these are long-term decisions we are making about how we contribute to the health and vitality of this ecosystem, and we always do. we will make you successful as long as that continues to happen. ”
Essentially, don’t judge virtual reality by current sales and devices or compare your stats to that of very popular games. Valve would say, of course, be a VR merchandise seller, but I’m inclined to agree with Gabe on this issue.
This is not new ground for Newell. The Steam co-founder previously expressed a keen interest in brain-computer interfaces; ways to connect the human brain more directly to an electronic device. It is both less frightening than it seems and really frightening if one considers the potential uses of this technology, from the mundane to the morbid.
Virtual reality, then, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to more immersive gaming experiences.
That’s not to say that existing virtual reality headsets aren’t fun. The valve index is tremendously good for high-end PC VR and the cheaper standalone VR headsets are becoming more popular. Still, it’s reassuring to know that Valve doesn’t see the Index as its one and only foray into virtual reality, even if Newell has no news on what that really means today.
However, there are more things in virtual reality than hardware. As Newell explains when asked about receiving the very popular VR title, Half-Life: Alyx.
“It has been very useful to help us think about what we do next, how to keep moving forward in virtual reality, what the opportunities are in space. In that sense, it has been very successful. adoption of virtual reality, had a positive impact. “
“Working on these closely coupled hardware and software designs can have great benefits,” Newell continues.
We’ve still seen a virtual reality title capture the audience for video games, like Half-Life: Alyx, but VR’s popularity is growing. Both Valve and Facebook claim that sales grew massively during 2020. While this may have something to do with the global pandemic, it is clear that virtual reality still has much more to offer.