Valve set to demo its own Virtual Reality hardware

And reveal how it will work with Steam.

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This isn't Half-Life 3.

Valve will demonstrate its own Virtual Reality hardware early next year, it's announced.

During the Half-Life maker's developer and publisher-only Steam Dev Days event in January 2014, Valve will show off VR hardware and reveal how it plans to change Steam to support it.

In a talk titled "What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years," Valve's respected tech genius Mike Abrash will discuss the mystery hardware.

The talk's official blurb is as follows:

"We've figured out what affordable Virtual Reality (VR) hardware will be capable of within a couple of years, and assembled a prototype which demonstrates that such VR hardware is capable of stunning experiences.

"This type of hardware is almost certainly going to appear in short order, and the time to starting developing for it is now. This talk will discuss what the hardware is like, and the kinds of experiences it makes possible. A few attendees will be randomly selected to try out the prototype following the talk."

Abrash's presentation is complemented by a talk by Valve's VR enthusiast Joe Ludwig, called "Virtual Reality and Steam".

In it, Ludwig will discuss how Steam will work with Valve's VR hardware.

"Come and hear what Valve is working on in Steam to support and promote Virtual Reality (VR) games," reads the presentation description. "This includes a discussion of the Steam Overlay in VR, Steam store changes for VR, and our VR plan for Steamworks."

News that Valve has a VR hardware prototype of its own comes as some surprise, given it ditched what sounds like a similar project created by ex-Valve engineers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson (who have since struck out on their own). However, we do know Valve has worked on gaming goggles.

It also comes as Sony prepares to unveil a virtual reality headset of its own, exclusively revealed by Eurogamer earlier this year, for use with PlayStation 4.

And then, of course, we have the Oculus Rift, the crowd-funded VR headset currently readying a consumer-focused version for release into the wild.

These are busy times for Valve. It's currently managing a number of successful online games, including Dota 2, Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike, as well as developing Steam Machines and the Steam Controller.

With all this on its plate, is it also working on Half-Life 3?

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