While specific plans weren't revealed, it seems that the next step might be a VR headset.
Image credit: Valve, Half-Life: Alyx
Just a few days ago, we reported on Valve's new edition of Steam Deck with an OLED display, which features not only an enhanced 7.4-inch display but also increased battery life. As Valve promised, the new model will be shipped on November 16, 2023.
Today we found out that during a recent interview with Norm from Tested, Valve's Hardware Engineer Yazan Aldehayyat and Product Designer Lawrence Yang provided some insights into the possible design and notable features of an upcoming VR headset.
When Norm posed a question regarding the utilization of knowledge gained from the development of the Steam Deck for VR hardware, Yang responded that they gained substantial insights from working with an APU and the miniaturization of computers, while they didn't have any specific VR announcements to make today, they wanted to emphasize that the team was actively engaged in VR development and constantly pushing its boundaries. Also, Yang highlighted that The Steam Deck, much like the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and VR, represented a culmination of valuable lessons learned. Their "future products will continue to learn from everything we've done with Steam Deck as well," Valve's engineer added.
"Obviously, there is a lot of overlap, technology pieces that we can reuse. Wireless streaming for example is very applicable to VR. That benefited Steam Deck as well, improving the wireless streaming experience. But also just establishing relationships with parts suppliers and other hardware partners. The Steam Deck team and the VR team, we work together, so there's a lot of inoculation of ideas and parts and technologies," shared Aldehayyat.
Valve's next headset may make use of OLED technology, as hinted by the discussion on "inoculation of ideas and parts and technologies." While Valve's Hardware Engineer Aldehayyat confirmed OLED for the Steam Deck, he refrained from revealing its usage in the upcoming headset. However, Aldehayyat's mention of wireless streaming strongly suggests that Valve's next headset will support wireless PC VR, potentially utilizing existing home Wi-Fi networks or a dedicated hardware adapter.
As the source noted, Valve's focus is likely on PC VR, but product designer Yang's references to "working with an APU" and "miniaturization of computers" indicate a standalone capability for the headset. Valve's exploration of "tetherless integrated VR" and a "transportable" headset aligns with President Gabe Newell's previous comments. It is worth noting that Newell mentioned they are not quite there yet in terms of achieving these goals.
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