Valve invited our mate Ian Video Games to their Steam Dev Days conference this week because "they recognise his genius potential", or so he'd have you believe. Suspicious sorts have observed that the never-before-mentioned 'twin brother' housesitting to water Ian's plants looks just like him, down to the same red wine stain on his jeans, with a stick-on moustache. Other say that the tweets and photos he's 'sending back' from Seattle look suspiciously like tweets from actual developers who are actually there. No matter. Either way, Valve have been gabbing about prototype new Vive motion controllers, Steam Links included with Samsung televisions, and other Steamstuff.
Steam Dev Days, as its name might suggest, is a developers-only event about making games and selling 'em on Steam. That means no fans, no press. Ian says he got in because he was scouted at an airport by a game talent scout, like Kate Moss, but that... doesn't check out. Let's not dwell on it. I think I've found the tweets and vids he's been claiming as his, so let's crack on.
Here's what we've learned. Valve have a new prototype Vive controller which straps onto your hand so: 1) you can drink a cuppa while playing; 2) they can track when you open and close your hand. No word on when/if this hardware which reach your hands at home - this is an event for devs, remember? Anyway, have a butcher's:
And here's a better look at 'em:
Another thing: Steam Link, the plug-in box which lets people stream games from their gaming computer to a television elsewhere in the building, will be "integrated into" some new Samsung televisions. That's what Dave Oshry and the Steam Spy guy says. No biggie, but maybe handy if you're a Steamer who happens to pick up a television with it.
What else? Steam's Controller API will start supporting controllers beyond the Steam Controller, starting with the PlayStation 4's pad. If a dev uses that API in their game, it means handy build-in support for things like gyro control, the touchpad, and no faffing about with controller configuration programs. Lars Doucet, a developer who co-hosted the Dev Days session on the API, goes over that in his transcript and slides.
If you're at Steam Dev Days and reading this, please do go around asking everyone "Excuse me, are you Ian Video Games?" We've got a bet on and I intend to collect.