Valve may not be announcing Half-Life 3 any time soon, but they’re certainly not giving up on the universe they’ve created. Next week, the studio will unveil a new project at the Game Developers Conference 2016 called The Lab.
The Lab is described as a compilation of new VR experiments that require the HTC Vive, the VR headset co-developed by Valve and smartphone manufacturer HTC. The Lab is set inside a “pocket universe” at Aperture Laboratories, where Valve’s Portal games take place. Like Portal before it, The Lab is expected to contain a host of puzzles that utilize the Vive’s virtual reality interface.
Valve is going to use The Lab to showcase the features of the $800 headset, which takes into account the player’s position in their room through wall-mounted sensors. The Lab will launch on Steam later this spring completely free of charge.
Earlier this month, Valve released the SteamVR Performance Test tool to benchmark gamers’ computers to see if they had systems capable of running the HTC Vive at its full potential. The application can be downloaded from Steam. You should run it if you intend to make the jump into VR.
Valve says that they foresee apps for movies, business, and education being developed for the device. Google will be releasing an app called Tilt Brush for the system’s launch. Additionally, the SteamVR software allows you to manage your entire Steam Library and play games in the comfort of your headset.
HTC and Valve are partnering up with system manufacturers to release Vive-ready PCs.