Virtual Reality seems to be the buzz word that everyone wants to get a hold of. Quite why mobile companies are obsessed with the progress of VR is baffling. Companies like Samsung have thrown their hat into every ring they can find as per usual, but one surprise entrant into the market yesterday was HTC with their ‘Vive VR’ headset. What may set Vive VR apart from the others is a new Half-Life game!
UPDATE (3/4/2015): After the BBC reported that confused rambling, a ‘source close to the US Company’ claimed that Ms. Wang must have been confused. She has clarified the situation by speaking to the BBC again.
“Regarding my BBC interview with Dave Lee yesterday, I would like to apologise for any confusion caused when I referred to individual games titles. In response to a question on specific games, I misspoke when I referred to our working together with Valve on a particular game, when instead I meant our collaboration with Valve on developing next-generation virtual reality experiences for gaming. – HTC Chairwoman Wang
This title is a long way from being Half-Life 3, but Valve have plans to bring a virtual version of Half-Life to the Vive VR. With the headset looking to hit stores long before Oculus does, you would think HTC would be waving the Valve flags as a major plus for the platform. Alas HTC employees seem to be going out of their way to downplay the plans.
Speaking to the BBC after Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang was asked about the upcoming release and the excitement. After trying to side step the question with her preference to Dota 2 and Portal she did eventually open up – kind of. “We are co-operating with Half-Life, and I think… I hope, you know, it will be on it,” is all she would say.
Mobile manufactures clearly see VR as the next extension of the interaction with your phone. The prototype shown at HTC’s event in Barcelona mirrors the standalone approach taken by Microsoft, Sony, and indeed Oculus. It doesn’t have the same need for an attached mobile device that Samsung’s attempt does – something Google cardboard also achieves albeit with tongue firmly in the cheek.
What may limit adoption of VR may not be price or production level, but merely the acceptance of strapping a black box to your face. However, a Half-Life title will help to attract those in gaming circles. Unfortunately there is no new title mentioned along with this, so rumours are that it is a VR version of the existing original title.
With Valve tight lipped and HTC even tighter, it is likely going to be strung out a little longer. Fingers crossed it doesn’t continue as long as other Half-Life game we are still waiting for!