Gabe Newell confirms Valve is working on full games for the HTC Vive (one in the Portal Universe); new base stations later this year


We’re still on the eve of virtual reality’s explosion into the mainstream, and many of the games that have been released in the space are little more than tech demos. While there are a few titles that have defied this trend, it’s still pretty necessary that we get some fully fledged games on the market in order to make the $60-ish justifiable. In a recent “Ask Me Anything” post on Reddit, Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve said that the company was working on their own full titles for the HTC Vive.

In response to a question posed by user Air_chandler, Newell said that they are designing the new knuckle controllers we saw recently at the same time they design their own VR experiences. He goes on to mention that the recent explosion in machine learning and AI may be something worth pursuing, and they have lots of data to make these titles quite incredible.

The big thing right now is broadening the range of options we have in creating experiences. We think investing in hardware will give us those options. The knuckles controller is being designed at the same time as we’re designing our own VR games.

Says Newell.

Much more narrowly, some of us are thinking about some of the AI work that is being hyped right now. Simplistically we have lots of data and compute capability that looks like the kinds of areas where machine learning should work well.

Personally I’m looking at research in brain-computer interfaces.

While he obviously did not mention a potential release date for these titles, someone was able to get information out of him regarding some of the types of games the company is looking to make. One user asked if there were any plans to use VR to explore more of the Portal universe, in which Newell simply answered “Yep”. This is quite exciting in its own right, as thousands of players would likely be interested in a new experience from this series’ universe.

Finally, Valve’s own Joe Ludwig chimed in to the conversation to mention that new base stations for the Vive will be coming later this year. Whether or not this is related to a whole new headset itself or is just an iteration that introduces better tracking and a possibly more compact body, we can’t quite be sure. Regardless, it will be fun to see exactly what the company has up their sleeve.

Are you excited about the news? Check out the AMA here to see all the latest questions and answers from Gabe himself.


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