Rumor: The Future Of VR Is In Jeopardy At Valve

As several developers focus on building VR experiences for Quest, the future of PC VR at Valve is in doubt.

When Half-Life: Alyx was released in 2020, the groundbreaking VR adventure exceeded all expectations of gamers thanks to the approximately 15 hours of amazing gameplay and amazing characters. Not to mention the incredible attention to detail and franchise-shaking history.

Since its launch, the game has been downloaded by 2 million people and won several awards, including VR Game of the Year 2020 Steam Awards. More important, Half-Life: Alyx showed us what VR technology is capable of under the right management.

Even with success HL: A, the future of VR at Valve seemed to be on shaky grounds thanks to the popularity of Oculus (Meta) Quest 2. In a video posted by Tyler McVicker, thatpopular YouTuber claims that most of Valve’s experienced VR developers have been picked up by Meta and are developing experiences exclusively for Quest 2.

“Valve was a little expectant Half-Life: Alyx to be the flag planted in PC VR to move things back, ”McVicker said in the nine-minute video.

Apparently, things have not gone exactly as the company hoped. PC VR, for the most part, continues to fall by the wayside in favor of more easily accessible stand-alone experiences. For Valve, it completely meant moving away from VR. Developers claim that Valve has canceled all of its VR projects in response to a changing market. 3X VR founder CixLiv expressed his perspective with a very direct tweet who said, “Sorry to my VR friends. I declare PC VR dead. Prove me wrong.”

Image credit: Valve

HL: A was not about selling software, according to McVicker. It was about delivering an incredible VR experience that could be used to turn the development in PC VR’s favor. But with Meta Quest 2 offering a more affordable and accessible alternative, Valve has not been able to gather enough momentum.

As a result, McVicker says most of the Half-Life: Alyx developers have since shifted gears and are now working on Steam Deck. That said, there seems to be hope.

McVicker is talking about a new one Half-Life VR games that are potentially on the way. The project is reportedly in the prototype stage and lacks any real history, although rumors suggest that it could take place right where HL: A loose. After all, the end of Half-Life: Alyx suggested that there was more to the story. But since most of Valve’s developers reportedly focused on Steam Deck, Valve could potentially cancel the project; if it ever existed in the first place.

Rumors have also circulated about a new VR headset under development at Valve. References to a stand-alone VR headsets was recently found in Valve’s SteamVR code along with the code name “Deckard”. First discovered by YouTuber Brad Lynch, Valves Deckard would reportedly have a built-in processor and internal tracking, eliminating the need for a connected PC or external base stations.

One thing that gives us hope for the future of VR at Valve is a patent filed in October by Valve for eye tracking that uses IR LED technology instead of cameras. In a tweet by Brad Lynch, he mentions how Everlight, the world’s 5th largest LED manufacturer, will use their IR LEDs and photodiodes in VR / AR devices, with some headsets released in 2022.

While that’s true, Deckard’s release will still be years away, and since VR is not a priority for Valve at the moment, there’s always a chance it could end up dying on the vine. For now we are at the mercy of rumors and speculations. If you want to check out the Valves Index VR headset, you can choose one Steam along with a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx. Half-Life: Alyx is for sale now to $ 29.99.

Feature Image Credit: Valve

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