This just in, ladies and gentlemen: Valve has basically invented a holodeck. At least, that's what we're hearing from today's Steam Developer Days conference, where Valve gave attendees a first look at a demo of its virtual reality hardware.Developer David Hensley described the experience on Twitter as "like being in a lucid dream state," and "very much like a holodeck," further noting that it was completely mind-blowing.
Hensley wasn't the only one praising the tech, either. Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey apparently said outright that Valve's VR tech is the best demo in the world right now - his own hardware notwithstanding. That's a pretty significant endorsement right there, no?
Of course, this is Valve we're talking about here. Did anyone expect any less?
Now, there's a spot of unfortunate news mixed in with this rather incredible revelation. Namely, the fact that Valve has no plans to make this demo (or the technology, for that matter) available to the public. Instead, the studio will be providing the tech to Oculus, with whom it intends to collaborate on future VR projects.
This isnt the first time the two organizations have partnered togther; Valve and Oculus have a long-standing working relationship. Most recently, they partnered on Crystal Cove's tracking functionality. That said, Valve hasn't ruled out releasing their own first-party VR hardware in the future - they're simply sticking with Oculus in the short term.
And why not? Between the two of them, the companies are packing some serious technical knowledge and creative power. Together, they could well kick off the true VR revolution that everyone's been buzzing about ever since the Rift first surfaced on Kickstarter.
These plans were discussed by Valve in a panel titled "What VR Could, Should, And Almost Certainly Will Be Within Two Years." There, a number of speakers discussed the challenges currently facing the world of virtual reality - and how Valve hopes to overcome those challenges in the coming months. To hear Valve tell it, the future is a bright one indeed. The challenges faced by Valve are difficult, but not insurmountable. And the end result will be more than worth the wait.
I mean, come on. They've basically invented a holodeck. How cool is that?