Those wondering if Valve will ever return to the Half-Life universe have been given a glimmer of hope in the form of a rumour the company is looking to launch an own-brand high-end tethered virtual reality (VR) headset with a bundled Half-Life game - but it's not likely to be Half-Life 3.
That Valve is interested in virtual reality is no secret: The company partnered with HTC to build the SteamVR platform on the software side, and has for a while now been working on building its in-house finger-tracking Knuckles controllers. Images of a virtual reality headset whose circuits were emblazoned with the name 'Valve', though, have indicated the company is looking to go still further - and independent anonymous sources claim that 'further' extends to launching an own-brand headset with a bundled Half-Life game.
Speaking to virtual reality focused outlet UploadVR, anonymous sources reportedly verified the images as being genuine and representing a prototype Valve-brand virtual reality headset which would feature a 135° field of view with a resolution matching HTC's recently-launched Vive Pro headset. Each would come, naturally, with a pair of Knuckles controllers in the bundle.
The software side, though, is arguably more interesting: The site's sources further claim that the device would come bundled with a Half-Life game, building upon years-old rumours that Valve would use its much-loved but long-abandoned game series to push an own-brand virtual reality device, but that it is more likely to be a prequel title rather than the almost-certainly-never-happening Half-Life 3.
On both sides, Valve has form: As well as the Knuckles controllers, which are not yet available commercially, the company has produced a range of own-brand hardware from Steam Link microconsoles to the official Steam Controller; on the software side, the company used the launch of Half-Life 2 to push its at-the-time new and shiny Steam digital distribution platform by making the service mandatory in order to play the game.
Naturally, Valve has neither confirmed nor denied the sources' claims.
February 26 2021 | 22:15