Posts Tagged ‘Valve’

The International 2015: Ticket Sale Dates Announced

By Shaun Green on March 21st, 2015.

The International 5 Aegis of Champions logo

Valve have announced more information on The International 2015 which, assuming you’ve already clicked on that headline, surely needs no introduction.

We already knew Valve’s Dota 2 tournament was being held between August 3rd and 8th in Seattle; now we know it’s returning to KeyArena, last year’s venue, and we also know when tickets are going on sale and how much they’ll cost. Read the rest of this entry »

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SteamVR: A Chat About What Worked And What Didn’t

By Alec Meer on March 20th, 2015.

Alec and Graham have both had a go on SteamVR, aka the HTC Vive (as described here and here). Yes, aren’t they glorious, beautiful, shining examples of humanity? You can touch them if you like. No, not there. And not for that long. What are you.. ew, no, no, get off.

Actually, just stand over there and avert your eyes while they have a big old natter about what worked best, what might go wrong in practice, where this might all lead to, whether this is basically MAGIC, Valve vs Oculus and whether the hell we should let children use this thing.
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What I’d Like To See Happen With Virtual Reality

By Graham Smith on March 19th, 2015.

Using Valve and HTC’s Vive headset was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with entertainment in any form, but that’s not to say that it’s perfect. There are obvious limitations in the hardware, obvious ways in which it will inevitably be improved in the years to come, and plenty of potential not yet realised in any of the prototypes I’ve played.

So I’ve been thinking. Here’s five (wholly serious) things I’d like to see Valve, HTC, Oculus or really anyone do with virtual reality.

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12 Observations About SteamVR

By Alec Meer on March 18th, 2015.

Through a series of fortunate events, I found myself in a backroom at EGX Rezzed last week, wearing a plastic box on my face, clutching a wand-shaped controller in each hand and walking around digital worlds. I was trying out SteamVR, aka the HTC Vive, and it was… well, in the longer term I need to go and have a hard think about how to meaningfully convey experiences* with essentially involve perceiving new realities. For now, I’ll be merely practical.
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Valve: ‘We Have To Do Better’ With Customer Service

By Alice O'Connor on March 16th, 2015.

I can’t even remember when I last bought a game in a box from a shop, but I do miss sometimes the customer service offered by real people with real faces. I do wish Valve, the digital daddy, had customer support half as useful as underpaid teenagers in Electronics Boutique.

The Better Business Bureau, a US-focused nonprofit (not a government body) which rates businesses, has drawn a long list of complaints against Valve and Steam from broken games to refused refunds, and currently awards them the rubbish grade of ‘F’. All of which prompted Valve last week to say that improving customer service support will be “a big focus” for them this year.

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Video: Take A Short Peek At Valve’s Portal 2 VR Prototype

By Graham Smith on March 12th, 2015.

Industrious internet users at Reddit have dug up brief footage of Valve’s Portal 2 VR demo, the one which was playable at GDC last week and which made me so giddy.

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Hands On With Valve’s Hardware Bonanza

By John Walker on March 5th, 2015.

Sitting down with Valve’s Eric Johnson this morning, one thing seemed to become increasingly clear. Valve, a studio that has arguably been pretty quiet of late (not least with the failure to ship Steam Machines in 2014), is coming to life again. With a slew of announcements at this year’s GDC, the HTC-tech-incorporating VR Vive, a proper announcement of Source 2, in-home streaming tech in Link, available builds of Steam OS, and a final build for their much anticipated controller, you could almost forget that none of them is a game. While Graham was being pulled into a virtual world, I had a play with the controller on games running on a couple of Steam Machines, on some rather enormous televisions.

So the first thing you want to know: is the controller any good?

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Valve’s Vive VR Prototype Is Better Than The Oculus Rift’s

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2015.

I’ve used the Oculus Rift DK1, HD and DK2 for hours and hours and enjoyed my time with each of them immensely, but on each occasion, I’d feel some sense of relief upon taking the headset off. Relief that my head could cool down, relief my eyes could relax, relief that I hadn’t thrown up.

When my twenty minutes with Valve and HTC’s Vive came to an end, I felt no relief. Instead, I only felt disappointed that I couldn’t continue exploring the 3D painting demo or playing with the specially-designed Portal 2 vignette.

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Source 2 Is Actually Free, Like, For Free

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

Admittedly this is not a picture of Source 2.

Valve’s sudden entry into the engine race, with an official announcement of Source 2, seems to have put them right up front alongside frenzied rivals Unity and Unreal. (Poor old Crytek, eh?) Meeting with studio bigwig Erik Johnson today, I learned that when they say Source 2 is “free”, they mean it. Unlike Unity’s (much lowered) subscription rates (for larger teams), and Epic’s revenue cut of successful projects, Valve won’t be asking for any money at all. Well, sort of… They just require that the game be launched on Steam, along with anywhere else you might want to sell it.

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Valve Announce Source 2, Because Why Not

By John Walker on March 4th, 2015.

Because they can’t do anything normally, after a day of daft conspiratorial rumours about an announcement at 3pm on the 3rd of the 3rd, Valve have finally and properly announced the existence of Source 2 via email at 15.54. The Source 2 they definitely weren’t making for all those years, and then sort of appeared in DOTA 2 code. And they’re aiming to make it amateur friendly. And free! Oh, and Steam Link too. Read the rest of this entry »

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So Valve’s Virtual Reality Thinger Got Announced…

By Alec Meer on March 1st, 2015.

…Please don’t do these sorts of things on a weekend, big companies. My heart can’t take it.

So: the ‘Vive!’ The first time Steam VR has broken cover! A hardware partnership between Valve and HTC! Dual 1200 x 1080 displays with a 90 frames per second refresh rate! All kinds of apparently super-precise head-tracking with no jitter! But that’s not the half of it. Add in a couple of ‘Steam VR Base Stations’ and you get to walk around, with the setup tracking your location. I.e. in theory you get to actually walk around a pretend world.

And out by this Christmas. Good lord. Trailer thingy below.
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What If Steam Never Existed?

By Graham Smith on February 27th, 2015.

Ten years ago, you’d struggle to find fifteen retail PC games released in any given month – and fourteen of them would launch with bugs, never be patched, and sink without trace. Compare and contrast with today, where Brewsters’ Millions could be spent in the time it took to load the Steam store. The existence of Steam isn’t entirely the cause for our videogame abundance, but it’s certainly a large factor – along with an influence, for good and ill, on almost every other part of PC games culture.

But what if it had never existed? You be Jimmy Stewart-playing-Gabe Newell and I’ll be Clarence, your guardian angel and guide to this alternate reality.

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Valve Showing Unannounced SteamVR Hardware At GDC

By Graham Smith on February 23rd, 2015.

Good news for people who like strapping things to their faces: Valve are bringing a new piece of virtual reality hardware to GDC next week.

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