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Valve's Steam VR Headset Puts Oculus in Sights

Valve's Steam VR Headset Puts Oculus in Sights

The ever-growing virtual reality space just gained some Steam. Software maker Valve confirmed that it is debuting the first-ever Steam VR headset at Game Developers Conference 2015 in early March, which will pit the company head-to-head with both Oculus Rift and Razer's new OSVR system.

Details on Valve's VR platform are currently sparse, but the developer will be providing demos of the hardware in San Francisco from March 4 to March 6. Valve also promises to show off a revamped Steam Controller, as well as new "living room devices," which we presume to be Steam Machines.

MORE: Samsung Gear VR Review - Amazeballs Fun

Steam VR won't technically be Valve's first foray into the realm of virtual reality. Last year the company showed of its "Dota 2" prototype headset, which featured a 2160 x 1280 display and built-in motion-tracking capabilities. We're not sure if Steam VR will sport similar features, but integrated motion control could help Valve's headset stand out in the space.

The prospect of gaming veteran Valve entering the VR realm is an exciting one, but fans have reason not to set their hopes too high. Back at CES 2014, the company promised to revolutionize living room gaming with a variety of console-like Steam Machines powered by Valve's SteamOS software, but we still have yet to see any of them come to market. The recent Alienware Alpha console was designed to help lead the charge for SteamOS, but was instead released as a Windows-based machine.

The VR market is becoming a sandbox more and more gaming giants want to play in. Peripheral company Razer recently debuted its OSVR (open-source virtual realty) platform, which is designed to encompass a multitude of headsets, accessories and operating systems. Sony will soon allow PS4 gamers to get fully immersed in their games with its Project Morpheus headset, while Oculus VR continues to fine-tune its PC-based Oculus Rift for an eventual consumer release.

We'll be on the ground at GDC 2015, where we plan on getting our heads inside every single VR headset on the show floor. Stay tuned for updates.

Mike Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico and on Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+

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