A new virtual reality headset billed as "the new standard in VR" has shown up on Steam, and it has Valve's backing even though it's being built by HP.
The product is currently titled "Next Gen HP VR Headset", with its own store page and brief teaser trailer on Steam. I know what you're probably wondering - should you wait to play Half-Life: Alyx on this thing? Well, here's the official product synopsis:
"The next generation HP Virtual Reality HMD - developed in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft - delivers an immersive, comfortable and compatible VR experience. It’s the new standard in VR."
Seems Microsoft isn't done with VR, HP teasing that it is updating their Windows Mixed Reality headset in partnership with MS and Valve, (the previous one I have, and find super uncomfortable). CURIOUS pic.twitter.com/5gE8d6J75wMarch 23, 2020
Valve previously worked with HTC to bring the Vive headset to market. However, it's been pushing its own internally-designed Valve Index headset as the top-of-the-line experience in VR, especially for use with Half-Life: Alyx. While Valve has its own horse in the virtual reality hardware race, the company has encouraged more companies to join it in the VR space by sharing research and allowing games such as Alyx to run on a range of VR hardware.
Since Valve is working with HP on this new headset, it may be compatible with the Valve Index Controllers, which Alyx uses to let players interact with the environment in more subtle, intricate ways. Or it may arrive with its own control solution - all we've seen so far is renders of the headset with an extra-shiny HP logo, so it's too early to say how comprehensive of a VR solution it may be.
We also don't have any idea of how expensive it will be. For reference, a Valve Index headset by itself goes for $499, and you can pick up an Oculus Rift S with bundled-in Touch controllers for $399.
If you're already exploring City 17 in VR, make sure you arm yourself with our Half-Life: Alyx tips.