Valve has dabbled in just about everything game related over the years, churning out hits like Half-Life and Portal and running an entire online gaming store, but now it appears the company will be throwing its hat into the virtual reality ring as well with a new headset.
The Valve website posted an image teasing the new device on Friday. In the image, Valve Index is clearly visible on the device, and it looks very much like a VR headset. Of course, this is all conjecture based on the information available, which does not extend beyond the image itself. The promotional tease simply asks audiences to "Upgrade your experience," and posts a May 2019 date which we assume will provide more information on the device. According to CNET, a Valve spokesman declined to provide more details, merely offering much of the same, saying, "We will have more info soon."
Up until now, Valve has supported virtual reality through companies like HTC. If it is indeed trying its hand at its own VR headset, it would be competing directly with HTC and others in that market, such as Sony and its PlayStation VR. If the idea of a Valve VR headset sounds appealing, then more information on the Valve Index should be available in the next month or so.
If a VR headset is in the works, it will be nice to see Valve pioneering again. Lately, it has put most of its focus into Steam, the company's popular gaming platform that hosts a variety of titles for download. Unfortunately, it has been facing criticism due to its mismanagement of the platform, where users have been purposefully leaving negative reviews on titles to harm their sales. Valve has been making efforts to combat review bombing, however, introducing a tool that will identify anomalous review activity. The company then manually dives in and investigate further, removing ones they deem illegitimate.
These aren't the only changes happening on Steam. The platform has seen its share of controversy, often allowing particularly toxic titles a place on the store. Some of which spread hateful messages or are generally offensive. That is coming to an end, however, as Valve has begun to clean things up, and has recently banned nearly 180 games from Steam in an effort to salvage its reputation and create a more friendly environment on the platform.