When Valve announced that it was holding a news conference on March 3 at 3PM, it was quite apparent what was rolling around in the our brains: Half-Life 3. The mythical Half-Life 3 has reached almost legendary status among gamers, and leave it to Valve to tease us once again as we grab for a cold beer from the fridge to rest against our forehead.
But while there was no Half-Life 3 announcement made today, Valve did have plenty to share with us including the successor to the Source engine. The Source engine has been the driving force behind Half-Life 2 and Counterstrike: Source, but Source 2 will soon upstage it. And just to make things even more interesting, Source 2 will be free to adopt for content developers.
"The value of a platform like the PC is how much it increases the productivity of those who use the platform,” said Valve's Jay Stelly. “With Source 2, our focus is increasing creator productivity. Given how important user generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not for just the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favorite games.”
With Source 2 now out of the bag, I guess we can expect for Half-Life 3 rumors and Internet memes to really pickup, uhhh, steam.
On the hardware front, Valve has announced the Steam Link, which is a wireless device that allows you to stream your Steam content from a PC or Steam Machine to any room in your house. The Steam Link features two USB ports on the back, a network port, and HDMI out. It can stream 1080p content at 60Hz with low latencies according to Valve. The Steam Link will be available this November for $49.99 and you can add a Steam Controller for an additional $49.99.
As for the aforementioned Steam Machines, Valve is reassuring us that systems from Falcon Northwest, Alienware, and “a dozen other partners” will also ship in November.
Earlier this week, Valve introduced its foray into virtual reality with the Vive headset, which was developed in conjunction with HTC. At the heart of the Vive Developer Edition VR headset are two 1200x1080 display with a refresh rate of 90 FPS. The high-resolution screens give you a 360-degree view of your virtual world and are aided by a laser position sensor, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope to add to the illusion.
The Vive Develop Edition VR headset will ship this spring, while the final production version will find its way into consumer hands by the end of 2015.
As for Steam, this year’s GDC marks the 13 anniversary of Valve’s initial announcement of the content delivery system. "We continue to see very strong growth in PC Gaming, with Steam growing 50% in the last 12 months," said Valve President Gabe Newell. "With these announcements we hope that we are helping build on that momentum."