By 2015, you’re probably going to step completely inside of a video game

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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Virtual reality gaming could be here before you know it.

Acclaimed “Half-Life 2” video game developer Valve announced during its recent Steam Dev Days developer’s conference that high-quality virtual reality hardware will hit the consumer market in two years or less.

“Not only could VR rapidly evolve into a major platform, but it could actually tip the balance of the entire industry from traditional media toward computer entertainment,” Valve’s VR chief and former Windows NT developer Michael Abrash said in engadget.

During his talk, titled “What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be Within Two Years” (which you can check out slides from on Steam’s website here), Abrash described creating the sensation of “presence” through high-tech headsets as the key to successful VR.

“It’s the sense of being someplace else while in virtual reality; many people feel as if they’ve been teleported. Presence is an incredibly powerful sensation, and it’s unique to VR; there’s no way to create it in any other medium” Abrash said.

According to Valve, headsets like Oculus VR’s Crystal Cove create a vastly more superior sensation of presence than screens or theaters, and Valve is planning on taking full video-game development advantage of that by 2015.

Abrash and Valve are taking presence to the next level with their own designated specs in a piece of proprietary VR hardware that only developers had access to at the conference. The specific details and demos of Valve’s VR headset have yet to be made public.

“A great VR system at a consumer price in 2015 is more than just possible – it’s sitting there waiting to happen,” Abrash said. “And it will happen, if not in 2015, then soon after. Virtual reality on the PC over the next few years may be as exciting as anything that’s ever happened in games.”

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