January 15, 2014, 6:00 AM —
Valve's "Steam Dev Days" conference starts today. It only runs for two days but if you look at the session listings it's going to be a packed two days.
We've talked and talked about SteamOS, the Steam Controller and Steam Machines and Valve is going to talk more about these and about Linux game development & debugging, and porting your game to OpenGL. All steps along the path to leaving Windows development behind and embracing SteamOS.
But another hot topic this year is VR. Yesterday Valve launched SteamVR, with support for the Oculus Rift dev kit (here's how to try it out if you have an Oculus). There's also some speculation that Valve will announce its own VR visor during the conference. I don't have an Oculus to test with, but people who've tried it say it projects the Steam US as a "giant floating curved screen," Eurogamer reports.
So it seems like we can add SteamVR to SteamOS, Steam Machines and Steam Controllers. PC gamers as a whole seem really excited about what Valve is doing. I am as well, at least to a certain extent.
But I do wish there was another company out there pushing PC gaming forward as enthusiastically as Valve is. Valve seems to be a pretty consumer-friendly company...today. But we've seen other companies that seemed very consumer friendly change their ways over time, once they became big enough and corporate enough. Perhaps that will never happen with Valve, but I'd still like to see them have some healthy competition just to keep them honest.
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