Valve's 'The Lab' is a compilation VR experience set in Portal's universe releasing this Spring

I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

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Valve teaming up with HTC for the Vive has left many to hope the company would consider porting one of their games to virtual reality. It appears we're pretty close to that thanks to some new information that was made public today.

According to a tweet from Geoff Keighley, Valve will be debuting a new VR experience set in Portal's universe, Aperture Science. The new series of experiements, so far dubbed "The Lab", will debut at this year's GDC.

Following up with that tweet, Valve has sent out an official press release regarding The Lab, which includes a number of VR experiements that can be enjoyed in a room-scale VR experience.

The Lab will be offered for free via Steam when it releases this Spring.

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From The Chatty

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      March 7, 2016 9:46 AM

      I was just wondering the other day if there'd be a Wii Sports equivalent for SteamVR. Perhaps this will be it.

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      March 7, 2016 9:51 AM

      Seems like probably a fleshed out version of a the previous demo would be my guess. I was hoping for something like that!

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      March 7, 2016 9:53 AM

      I wonder if this is going to be Vive only. Seems to just say "VR" for now.

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        March 7, 2016 9:56 AM

        I'm super curious about this in a general sense. Steam VR is meant to be wholly compatible. For stuff that is an "Exclusive to Valve" how will they actually prevent it from running on Oculus?

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        March 7, 2016 10:35 AM

        It'll no doubt be Steam VR only and probably room scale only. Gabe recently stated that exclusivity was bad for the customer and bad for business in response to software for VR I believe.

        The Rift can use Steam VR and can do some form of headset tracking at launch. I doubt the room scale experience would be very good with just one camera for headset tracking and no controller tracking. Not sure if there will be support for other input methods such as a controller even if the headset can be tracked somewhat via room scale. It'll be a subpar experience with the Rift until they release Touch at least.

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      March 7, 2016 10:23 AM

      Aggh.... I thought for sure that Valve would pull a massive earthshaking announcement at GDC with a Valve produced game.

      I really can't believe after all this time/effort, that they don't have a first party title to go with this headset they've been working on for years!

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        March 7, 2016 10:29 AM

        Wasn't the Vive partnership with Valve pretty recent? I feel like it was less than a year since it was formally announced. Otherwise, yeah I agree.

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          March 7, 2016 10:35 AM

          Valve are the ones that initial developed the technology (and apparently have been developing it for a number of years.) They partnered with HTC as soon as they realized they wanted to make an actual product out of it.

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            March 7, 2016 10:50 AM

            It just seems crazy to think about working something for 6 years, and not have a launch title for it.

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              March 7, 2016 1:37 PM

              It's not crazy at all. It took them 6 years to make HL2, which was just a PC game, also, it was just a shooter. Think about that before moving on the the next point which is they did not have the Vive for 6 years. 6 years ago they had nothing at all. The train got rolling 4 years ago, and they did not have any idea what they would end up with.
              When they did know, call it 2 years ago (and that'd be rounding up), they didn't instantly know how to use it! They would have to play around with it first.
              This is what we're seeing: experiments. Everything they learned and want to share with other developers (so they don't have to learn it the hard way) and just normal people (so you can have an idea of what crazy stuff is possible). I am very excited to see it.
              I am sure by now they have decided on a game to make, but there is no way Valve was ever going to get any VR game into an advanced enough state to show off this year, when they could only plausibly have started on it last year. Let alone have it ready for launch!

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                March 7, 2016 4:39 PM

                Oh not you again. You're right, fucking never mind.

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                  March 7, 2016 5:00 PM

                  lol you have these fucking batshit crazy ideas about how things work and get all upset when I try to explain otherwise. Why the hell are you even asking questions when you don't want answers

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                    March 7, 2016 6:06 PM

                    How is it batshit crazy to think that a company like HTC, who has been next to death for a while now, would expect their partner to have a strong launch title to help get a leg up on a well funded competitor at launch. I am sure the CEO of HTC said "nah let's just wing it with some indie games, that'll be a safe bet against facebooks oculus studio"...

                    Almost all my friends are working on various VR projects right now. I ask them the same questions I post here and they all wonder the same things. I post about it here and you show up like fucking beetle juice to tell me how dumbo my thoughts are.

                    And listen to you, listing all these times when they may have started things, do you work at Valve or HTC? How do you know anything?

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              March 7, 2016 1:44 PM

              They can't release a triple AAA game to a low install base. They need to give it some time so that they have a large enough install base. I expect this lab game to be equal in length to the first Portal game, which was also an "experiment".

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                March 7, 2016 6:22 PM

                the same is true of consoles. The console makers eat that cost/risk by doing first party development to help bootstrap the platform.

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        March 7, 2016 10:41 AM

        GDC didn't start yet tho

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          March 7, 2016 10:51 AM

          I know, but this "lab" thing seems to throw water on them announcing a full retail "valve" game.

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      March 7, 2016 12:08 PM

      I knew it!

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      March 7, 2016 1:41 PM

      Half-Lab 3. The continuing saga of mixed breeds.