Valve brings Source 2, virtual reality, and Steam Link announcements to GDC 2015

Valve has been busy at GDC 2015, announcing further plans today to jump into the virtual reality world, while also unveiling Steam Link and Source 2.

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Valve has been a busy body at this year’s Game Developers Conference, which officially marks the Steam platform's 13th birthday. Not only did it reveal plans for a VR Headset, which HTC is building with their cooperation, but Valve also had a few more tricks up its sleeve.

The first new device announced was Steam Link, a product which will plug into a TV or other monitor and allow users to stream their Steam games from their PC. The Steam Link will support 1080p resolution at 60Hz and rolls out on shelves in November for $49.99. The device will automatically detect other computers hooked up to the same network running Steam. For an extra $49.99 you can pick up a Steam Controller to go with it. Many partners like Alienware and Falcon Northwest are slated to release Steam Machines around the same time. These devices will run for the same price as a typical gaming console, however, they’ll provide a higher performance.

The second big announcement is the upcoming release of Source 2, Valve’s newest video game engine. Along with this news Valve announced that they’ll be shipping Source 2 to developers for free, as well as offering a special Vulkan-compatible edition of the Source 2 engine.

Probably the biggest news release of the week for Valve, however, was its step into the VR world with partner HTC and an upcoming VR Headset called the Vive. Alongside this new VR tech Valve announced the creation of a VR input system, as well as a room-scale tracking system called Lighthouse. The developer has also stated that Lighthouse will be freely available to all hardware manufacturers who are interested in the tech.

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Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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    • reply
      March 3, 2015 5:15 PM

      Source 2 holy shit it finally happened!(juts read it too) Man they have to announce HL3 this year everything thing point tot the perfect storm.

      Man I can not wait to see some Source 2 vids [ goes to find some... ]

      Awesome news.

      • reply
        March 3, 2015 8:02 PM

        This is the only meaningful news, imo.

      • reply
        March 3, 2015 11:50 PM

        Oh shit. I just realized this is huge news too. I though games like Left 4 Dead 3 and Counterstrike GO were all Source 2 engine games. Thought the engine was already out. Doesn't DOTA use Source 2?

        • reply
          March 4, 2015 1:10 AM

          I think they're all modified source engine 1 if I'm not mistaken.

        • reply
          March 4, 2015 1:20 AM

          CSGO and Dota 2 still use the latest Source 1 Orange engine. Valve will be rolling out the Source 2 version of Dota 2 sometimes soon. I think in the coming month or so.

          L4D3 is still in dev on Source 2.

          • reply
            March 4, 2015 6:16 AM

            Any links to where they say new engine for DotA soon?

        • reply
          March 4, 2015 1:20 AM

          Those are all Source. There is a Source 2 beta for Dota 2 that's out for map/mod making

    • reply
      March 3, 2015 9:45 PM

      This article needs context on what Vulkan is. That's not referenced elsewhere in the article; it needs at least a link.

      • reply
        March 3, 2015 9:52 PM

        Vulkan is the openGL low-level api, equivalent to AMD's Mantle.

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          March 3, 2015 10:03 PM

          So something else that will never get used :/

          Although if it's built into Source 2 it might actually.

          • reply
            March 3, 2015 11:30 PM

            Huh? It's basically the next version of OpenGL that's equivalent to DX12. Except it would be multiplatform (unlike DX12) and multivendor (unlike Mantle).

            It has nothing to do with Valve or Source 2, unless they're planning on a Valcan rendering back end.

          • reply
            March 4, 2015 12:18 AM

            It'll get used in loads of places. OpenGL owns mobile, most consoles, and all the cross-platform desktop stuff we're seeing. You'll basically see it on anything that isn't exclusive to a Microsoft platform.

            • reply
              March 4, 2015 12:32 AM

              It should be awesome on mobile given the need to reduce CPU cost in rendering.

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                March 4, 2015 1:08 AM

                Should be good on the desktop too! It'll make much better use of many-core machines.

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:06 AM

        Vulkan is valcan_s. He is Valve's secret weapon.

    • reply
      March 3, 2015 9:50 PM

      Whoa source 2! And yeah, what's Vulcan?

    • reply
      March 3, 2015 10:07 PM

      Source 2.... Any games? lol

    • reply
      March 4, 2015 12:32 AM

      Source 2 BUT SHOW IT TO ME

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 3:12 AM

        I know D:

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:21 AM

        ya, woke up this morning expecting to see some demo vids, but nada.

        weird. usually you strut new engine stuff like crazy.

    • reply
      March 4, 2015 4:40 AM

      and what are the new features of Source 2?

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:03 AM

        ^^^ would like to know this also

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:05 AM

        100% more 2

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:08 AM

        yeah, an article about this would be nice

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:08 AM

        I really want the first feature to be:

        * Half Life 3

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:09 AM

        better stuff than 1.5.

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:10 AM

        fixes the bug where you can't end the title of a game with a "3"

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:12 AM

        Apparently lots of streaming and no load screens.

        • reply
          March 4, 2015 6:24 AM

          It'd be cool if they did that thing that Blizzard has implemented where you're able to start playing the game before it's fully downloaded.

          • reply
            March 4, 2015 6:28 AM

            I know it's probably just an ordered download of necessary assets, then the axillary ones... But that technology is still quasimagical to me lol

          • reply
            March 4, 2015 9:18 AM

            Wasn't that supposed to be a feature of steam like ten years ago ?

            • reply
              March 4, 2015 9:25 AM

              Yes, and it was implemented in a couple of games.

          • reply
            March 4, 2015 9:23 AM

            Like Guild Wars had 10 years ago?

            Huh, coming up on the 10 year anniversary.

        • reply
          March 4, 2015 11:04 AM

          aka pop-in, missing textures, and hitching. AWESOME!

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:20 AM

        More realistic wooden boxes

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:28 AM

        The features can be appropriately summarized in one word: MOR3.

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 6:31 AM

        * Ability to created third iterations of game franchises

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 9:09 AM

        At the time we published this article there was no information of what new features were included in Source 2, hence why they weren't included here. I'm sure we'll have something up as soon as we have some solid information. :)

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 9:16 AM

        .WAD file support

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 9:18 AM

        Half Life 3 support

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          March 4, 2015 10:02 AM

          That requires Source 3. Sadly, Valve never makes a version 3 of anything :(

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 9:21 AM

        colored lighting!

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 9:36 AM

        They "fixed" the stutter bug.

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 9:53 AM

        I hope a better toolset is coming. The old school editor with Source has a lot of catching up to do.

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 10:06 AM

        Free to use, like Unity/Unreal

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 10:41 AM

        it has computer graphics.

    • reply
      March 4, 2015 6:15 AM

      VR and a new engine? HL3 is just around the corner.

    • reply
      March 4, 2015 9:22 AM

      Sweet! Now we can make Half Life 3 ourself!

    • reply
      March 4, 2015 9:27 AM

      I'm very excited about the steam link. I've been wanting a roku or firetv, type device for my computer games ever since steam in-home streaming was made available. This is bad ass!

      • reply
        March 4, 2015 9:44 AM

        Oh latency. How I loathe thee. Let me count the ways.

        • reply
          March 4, 2015 1:43 PM

          Latency on my WiFi is 1ms. Or you mean TV latency?

    • reply
      March 4, 2015 9:33 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      March 4, 2015 10:29 AM

      Uhh, Portal 3 ?! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2HeKO-UivI&t=154

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