Valve officially announces Source engine 2 at GDC 2015. The Company states that it is available for free to content developers, later this year. The engine includes next generation OpenGL support which is the competitor for Microsoft’s DirectX API in Windows games. This is to ensure that their upcoming Steambox devices, which run on Linux, have a strong API.
With Source 2, our focus is increasing creator productivity. Given how important user generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not for just the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favorite games.
Valve and HTC announce a virtual reality headset called Vive, which uses two 1200 x 1080 displays with a refresh rate at 90Hz, eliminating jitter achieving “photorealistic imagery” across a 360 degree field of vision. A pair of HTC-made wireless controllers for manipulating objects or shooting weapons through hand tracking will be included. The Steam VR base station will let users walk around the virtual space instead of using a controller. A pair of the base stations can track users’ physical location in spaces up to 15 feet by 15 feet. Vive comes out for developers in Q2 2015 and later in 2104 for consumers. HTC’s Peter Chou:
We believe that virtual reality will totally transform the way that we interact with the world. Virtual reality will become a mainstream technology for the rest of the world.
Former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington establish Valve, LLC in Kirkland, Washington. Soon after becoming situated, they begin work on their first game: Half-Life.