It's All About VR Baby!
It might not be too surprising that Valve is focusing heavily on VR and the Vive. The main social area here at Steam Developer Days is lined with VR booths featuring a ton of really interesting games such as Work Simulator and Tilt Brush. I've really enjoyed trying my hand at Work Simulator and after the whole experience really think that the Vive is the most immersive VR I've used to date. The sensitivity of the tracking and controllers is superb and much smoother than other VR I've tried like the Oculus. Wick discovered the Tilt Brush VR app by Google and was painting some really interesting things for about an hour. It's hard to describe just want you can do with Tilt Brush but imagine a paint program where you can paint with light, smoke and other effects in 3D at room scale. These kinds of VR art experiences are going to allow people to create some really great stuff and I can't wait to see what people do with it when VR becomes more popular.
Valve Dropped Some News On What's Next
We've heard rumblings of a new Steam client update that aims to change things up considerably and I heard first hand of this today talking to a Steam designer and it was later confirmed in a Steam talk. They didn't talk a ton about what the new version would do but they did note that they wanted to improve how people find new games.
Valve said that they are partnering with Samsung to have the Steam Link built in to upcoming Samsung TV's. Smart TV's are doing so much these days and integrating the Steam Link into them seems like a really great next step to get Steam into every living room. I wonder how long it will be before you don't need a PC to stream the games and the TV's have enough horsepower to do it themselves?
During the VR talk they also let us know that they are working on bringing VR to Mac and SteamOS and that there would be a demo of VR on Linux for us to get our hands on tomorrow. Valve bringing VR to SteamOS, Linux and Mac sounds like something that should make people happy as will push VR to be a more open system, something Valve is committed to.
The Swag Is Strong With This One
Each Steam Developer Day attendee was gifted a Steam Controller, Steam Link and a bunch of other swag. This is a really great bonus and something I am looking forward to checking out. It's also really nice for players of Steam games because now that more developers have a Steam Controller, adding support is that much easier.
There Is No Steamboy
Personally, I've been interested in Valve producing a handheld system for quite some time. While I was talking to a Valve Developer I asked them if Valve was working on such a system and they said they weren't. They remembered the Steamboy concept video and thought it was pretty interesting but said Valve wasn't working on anything like that. It makes sense as they are focused on other things right now but I thought it was worth mentioning and lamenting.
Interested in reading my thoughts on day 2? Hit the link below.