Get in on Valve's Hardware BetaOkay, so, we know that Valve is working on some kind of hardware. We've known that for a while, thanks to some job listings and a few quotes. But now things are beginning to heat up. The company has put out a call for play-testers, outing a survey that asks about your favorite game, how many hours you play video games, what systems you use, and, most importantly, if you get motion sick (yes!!!). In addition to possibly testing the hardware, you also will be in the list to test future Valve games before their release.
Now, technically this could be for any hardware project. But that last line is telling. Motion sickness is something mostly associated with high motion games, 3D movies, and anything that confuses your senses. Which, since virtual reality displays like the Oculus Rift completely replace your vision, is common for that type of technology.
Right now Valve is only looking for people on the West coast, specifically the Washington Seattle/Bellvue area, but you can be sure that the area will expand as they ramp up their testing. To quote Valve's Burton Johnsey:
If you have interest in stopping by (most sessions last around an hour), please fill out the survey below. We're looking for people local to the Seattle/Bellevue area, but you're welcome to fill out the survey no matter where you live as we may have plans for remote playtests in the future.
Many feel that the next generation of gaming consoles will come in the form of virtual reality. Those playing with modern VR headsets tend to agree. Historically, though, VR goggle have been expensive and not very useful. The cheaper headsets used images that didn't fill up an entire user's view, making it basically a TV. More expensive ones, on the other hand, used bulky and expensive optics to stretch out the image.
The modern approach is to use a display that is as large as your face. Put an image on it, correct for distortion in software, and call it done. Simple and cheap. That is how I'm betting Valve is going.