The 2015 Game Developer's Conference starts next Monday (March 2nd) and Valve will be there showing off what they used to refer to as their Steam Machines, as well as a VR Headset.
Earlier this week Valve updated it's Steam Universe page with this brief announcement:
Steam is bringing the best games and user-generated content to exciting new destinations. At GDC 2015, we’ll be giving demos of the refined Steam Controller, new living room devices, and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system.
With the introduction of SteamVR hardware, Valve is actively seeking VR content creators. Are you a developer or publisher interested in experiencing the new SteamVR hardware? We’ll be giving scheduled VR demos during the week of GDC, March 4th-6th, 2015, at Moscone Center in San Francisco.
This was the first time I'd heard that Valve was moving forward with its own VR hardware as a commercial project. Prior to this we've heard they'd been experimenting but it was always unclear (to me anyway) whether in the end Valve would jump onto the Oculus bandwagon or go their own way. Now we know.
I sat on this news a few days hoping for some leaks or even more info from the source. Yesterday Twitter account @SteamDB shared a possible image of Valve's VR headset.
It's not much more than a silhouette but it's the only detail about the headset that I've seen uncovered thus far.
So we have this mystery VR headset. Then we have "living room devices." I'm not sure how much to read into this. Is the term "Steam Machine" retired? Or does Valve have both Steam Machines and something else for the living room? Hard to say.
Last up, yesterday morning my Steam beta client updated and I noticed this line: "Added support for the new Steam controller. The older generation Steam controller is no longer supported." Again I'm doing some hardcore reading between the lines, but that suggests to me that the latest iteration of the Steam controller either adds or removes buttons or features. If the design just shifted things around you'd think the old controllers would still work.
I still want hardware in my living room that is as simple to use as a game console but that gives me access to my Steam library. I don't really care if that's a "Steam Machine" or a streaming client that depends on my gaming rig up in the office. I'm hoping Valve comes to GDC with a solution to my problem, and brings a launch date to go with it!