Valve's Virtual Reality Headset Increases Chances of VR-Powered Virtual Worlds in Next 3 Years
The New York Times ran an interesting story on Valve last weekend which included some tasty nuggets about the virtual reality headset Gabe Newell's company is working on. From what the reporter writes, the prototype is already working pretty well, and it could be in our hands fairly soon:
I have a crazy contraption strapped to my head: a boxy set of goggles that looks like a 22nd-century version of a View-Master. It immerses me in a virtual world... [Valve's Michael] Abrash said glasses capable of credible augmented-reality games could be three to five years away, though he said virtual reality glasses would arrive sooner. He said Valve hadn’t decided whether it would make glasses itself. But its ultimate goal is to share its designs freely so other hardware companies can make glasses, too.
Emphasis mine. Valve's efforts are important to consider alongside another VR project, the crowdfunded Oculus Rift, which also has a lot of promise. Unlike that one, however, Valve already has a distribution market (i.e. Steam) in place. And as New World Notes readers know, Second Life is coming to Steam soon, which increases the likelihood that we'll see Valve's virtual reality project merged to that virtual world soon, too.
That said, I still think the total market for VR headsets is relatively niche, maybe 10-20 million hardcore MMO/FPS gamers. But adding that technology capability to a world like Second Life would make it much more appealing to them, not to mention the mainly SLers who've been craving that feature for a long time too.Tweet