As spotted by Brad Lynch on Twitter, Valve has posted a job listing in which it is looking for software engineers to help them “achieve the next steps in VR.” More specifically, Valve is looking for people to “prototype, ship, and support consumer gaming products leveraging visual-inertial tracking (HMD and controllers), camera passthrough, environment understanding, eye tracking, and hand tracking.”
Valve’s headset, the Valve Index, has been on the market for over three years now and has since been surpassed by newer and cheaper headsets. Additionally, with Sony set to loose the Playstation VR2 headset upon the world in early 2023, it seems that Valve is eager to catch up.
Valve has been hinting at expanding its ventures in VR for a while now. In May 2021, CEO Gabe Newell said that the company was “making big investments in new headsets” in new headsets during a talk at the Sancta Maria College in New Zealand.
Additionally, in an interview with Edge magazine in February of this year, Newell name-checked VR when discussing the Steam Deck, stating: “one of the things [the Steam Deck] represents is battery-capable, high-performance horsepower that eventually you could use in VR applications as well. You can take the PC and build something that is much more transportable. We’re not really there yet, but this is a stepping stone.”
Valve added a new job position focused on computer vision for VR hardware
“The main scope of this position is to prototype, ship, and support consumer gaming products leveraging visual-inertial tracking, camera passthrough, environment understanding, eye and hand tracking” pic.twitter.com/LmAdm9nyrP
— Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) October 10, 2022
That echoes previous comments made by Valve product designer Greg Coomer in an interview with The Verge, in which, when asked if the Steam Deck’s chip could be used in a standalone VR headset, he replied that it would “run well in that environment” and that “it’s very relevant to us and our future plans.”
Rumours about a standalone VR headset from Valve, that doesn’t require being connected to a high-end PC, have been circulating for a while. In September last year, a datamine uncovered a string of data pointing to the codename for the Valve Index 2. Additionally, the addition of an option called “Standalone System Layer” in a hidden Valve menu raised the suspicions of an upcoming standalone VR headset.
It’s exciting times for VR fans right now – as, ahead of the release of the PlayStation VR2, a senior member of staff at Sony has said he believes indie developers have been “waiting for this next VR boom.”
In other gaming news, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss stars in her own fast-paced platform game, In Liz We Trust?