Valve insider Tyler McVicker posted a YouTube video detailing Valve’s plans (or lack thereof) for VR, and McVicker notes that most of the company has lost interest in VR altogether.
This is mostly due to the massive success of Meta (formerly Facebook) in rolling out relatively low-cost headphones under the previous Oculus brand and buying several major VR developers, and Valve instead focuses its efforts on showcasing the versatility and power of its upcoming laptop Steam Deck .
In terms of refocusing on Steam Deck, it appears that the company has been working on a VR title called “Project Citadel,” but is now reworking the game for Steam Deck to show off its capabilities.
And according to a Reddit post that also reported a McVicker video, Project Citadel is going to be a hybrid real-time strategy shooter type of game that’s due to be revealed within the next couple of years.
And this whole rumor is interesting given the way the rest of the industry is trying to leverage virtual and augmented reality technologies to create the metaverse — or at least expand it into a new territory, and Facebook has literally changed its name to “Meta” to reflect its focus on building the metaverse and the headphones that take you into it.
Unity has bought visual effects studio Weta Digital with ambitions to shape “the future of metaverse,” and the Nvidia CEO believes the metaverse will be an economic force greater than the real world.
Even Microsoft is trying to turn Teams into a “gateway to the metaverse.” Valve was one of the first commercial successes in virtual reality, with several hardware companies adopting Valve’s SteamVR platform, and HTC’s Vive headsets were competitive with the Meta Rift and Quest sets, as was the Valve Index headset.
The excellent Half-Life: Alyx is a VR demo and arguably one of the best VR games on the market. Meta has made several big VR purchases that help boost its VR headset platform, and in 2019, Facebook bought Beat Games, developer of the popular VR title Beat Saber along with the success of the Oculus Quest 2, which doesn’t require a powerful PC for gaming. Meta is definitely in a position of strength in terms of the VR market.
On the other hand, Steam Deck is one of the most anticipated block game consoles at the moment, and Valve has postponed Steam Deck shipments to next year due to a lack of components and demand, and due to the state of PC hardware (particularly graphics cards), Steam Deck offers a much easier and portable way to get into the game. PC games with it being more powerful and versatile than the Nintendo Switch.