Valve Rumored to be Working on a New VR Controller
Many things have pointed to Valve silently working on a new VR headset for quite some time now, and the latest patent that’s been awarded to the company is for a VR controller, underlining these theories. The company behind Steam has already had a number of successful hardware projects, the most notable being the Valve Index and Steam Deck, which serve the VR and handheld PC gaming niches respectively.
The notion that Valve would continue working on furthering the virtual reality scene isn’t very surprising on its own. After all, the latest Half-Life game was a widely acclaimed VR exclusive, and the company has shown a penchant for looking forward and leveraging cutting-edge technology to deliver superior products. Its new patent, then, fits into this existing pattern of production.
Valve’s patent describes an “electronic controller with [a] linear hand strap adjuster,” with the listing focusing primarily on the specifics of the featured strap design. The included drawing shows the whole device and may be the first time a new Valve controller has been seen so far. Most notably, the design includes a ring of lights mounted to the controller that would be used for tracking purposes and which immediately calls to mind the existing Oculus controllers. Nothing mentioned in the patent implies that it has anything to do with the rumored Valve Deckard VR headset, but it’s probable that the two projects are related.
It seems likely that the success of Steam Deck emboldened Valve when it comes to its hardware projects. While the company had a few hardware releases in the past, such as the Steam Controller, none of them were nearly as successful as the Deck itself. In the case of Valve Index, for example, the issue was likely the fact that the full package costs roughly $1,000, making it prohibitively expensive for the majority of casual VR gamers.
While its hardware divisions have been making strides, it’s also worth pointing out that Valve apparently has multiple games in development too. It’s not currently known whether any of these might be major AAA-tier projects such as Half-Life: Alyx, but it does seem all but certain that the company will bank on its VR investments down the line. More news about all these games should be coming relatively soon if Valve aims to release them in the near future, but only time will tell how it all might pan out.
Valve’s core business is also doing remarkably well, of course. Steam hit a new concurrent user record earlier this year, making it obvious that the biggest and most popular PC gaming storefront is doing better than ever before. This, too, is bound to be a part of the reason why the company will continue working on dedicated hardware devices in the future.
In other news-The legal war over Disco Elysium reaches levels of complexity
Something is rotten in the state of Revachol. This year has seen the gradual unfurling of a bitterly ironic real-world tale, one in which the creators of perhaps the best PC game ever(opens in new tab) appear to have been systemically cut out of the company(opens in new tab) they co-founded, Disco Elysium studio ZA/UM, and are now fighting for it in the courts.
How did it get to this point? One of the answers is relatively simple: four concept sketches of a man in a scarf, the first glimpses of a Disco Elysium sequel, which were allegedly bought last year for just over €1 by a shell company controlled by a ZA/UM executive, and then immediately re-sold to ZA/UM for €4.8 million. Learn more