...But he did have some good things to say about VR.
Valve writer Chet Faliszek did indeed run a Developer Session at this year’s EGX but no, he did not confirm that Half Life 3 was in development, and that it would not support Virtual Reality. OK, so it was admittedly open to a little interpretation, but there were whiteboard doodles during Half Life 2’s development that yielded more useful information.
So what was actually said? You can actually find the full video over at Eurogamer’s website and it’s definitely worth watching the whole thing, but the exchange that’s being reported elsewhere comes at the end when the floor was opened up for questions.
“Is Half Life 3 gonna be in VR?” was the first of one guy’s questions. Chet responded with a polite smile and, “We were kinda betting that that was gonna get asked, no.”
You could interpret this as confirmation of Half Life 3, or you could see it as someone who constantly gets asked such questions and now will only respond with a flat and succinct, “no.”
The guest followed it up with a question on wireless technology, but even he didn’t think he’d gotten any confirmation on the matter. Before surrendering the microphone he added, “You didn’t answer my first question.” The response he got?
“I said no.”
Now that that’s out of the way, go and watch the video anyway. Chet Faliszek had some very interesting things to say about the development of Steam’s VR platform and the HTC Vive.
One of the most important points he wanted to make was about space requirements. Although we’ve had confirmation in the past that the Vive would work sitting down, there has been speculation that the difference between Vive and Oculus Rift would be that one would suit a seated experience and one would require a dedicated room. This naturally lead to some concerns over whether people without the floor space would be able to enjoy Valve’s offering or be forced into going with another solution.
The HTC Vive would work in a space up to five by five metres, but that is a maximum limit, not a required minimum. The experience scales down to a stationary and, yes, seated experience. The point was pressed so hard that it’s clear Valve have been listening to people’s concerns on the subject. Unfortunately, having finally experienced the Vive demo, while I may not need a five by five space for VR, you really really want it.