Valve showcases new Vive controller and lighthouse prototypes at Steam Dev Days

handcontrol

It seems like we just got back from the Oculus Connect 3 developer conference, and Valve is already showing off hardware to counter Oculus’ biggest new asset, Oculus Touch.

As we saw at the conference, Oculus’ new Touch controllers do a tremendously good job of immitating natural gripping of objects, something which Valve have had trouble with on their Vive hand remotes in the past. Back in August, Valve decided to open up it’s tracking algorithms for developer use, and now at their “Steam Dev Days” conference, they have shown off the first wave of new prototypes which they hope will help to solve the problems the original controllers had so much trouble with.

Valve showed off quite a few prototypes as seen in the slide above, including a controller for gripping, a more lightweight version of the current remotes, and a lighthouse-enabled Steam controller. These are all used for different use cases, but Valve will likely create one new master controller to ship with whatever next-generation headset they release next.

Cloudhead Games, developers of Call of Starseed worked with Valve to create a new gripping controller and a new demo of their game that utilizes them. Upload VR reached out to them to get a comment regarding the new controllers.

We were one of few developers who employed hands on the Vive, and our code just happened to work with Valve’s new controllers right out of the gate. They basically told us we have pretty hands–it was very flattering. So we made a new sandbox on the beach with a bunch of the pick up items from Call of the Starseed in one spot. Didn’t have to change much at all.

Valve also showed off some images detailing new designs for lighthouses coming in 2017. While there is no new information regarding internal specifications, the new prototype designs do look pretty slick.

lighthouse

While there was no hardware officially released today, it’s exciting to see that the company is hard at work getting new devices ready for the mainstream.

Are you excited for 2017?

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