Valve, the company behind the best-selling computer gaming store Steam, has launched its first standalone virtual reality headset dubbed the Valve Index. The company claims that it “pushed visual, audio, and ergonomic technologies to create the best-in-class VR experience.” Offering dual 1440×1600 LCDs which run at 120Hz (or offer an experimental 144Hz mode), this virtual reality headset could be the most technology-packed model that we’ve ever seen.
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Today, Valve has announced Steam Broadcasting as part of its beta client. Mac/PC Steam users (anyone who has purchased a game from the service) can now opt in to Steam’s new integrated broadcasting beta, which essentially allows gamers to get full Twitch-like streaming functionality directly inside of the Steam ecosystem.
With the rising popularity of Twitch’s live broadcasting service among gamers (they just sold to Amazon for nearly $1 billion), not to mention its adoption by Sony and Microsoft for their new boxes, it’s not surprising the PC gaming juggernaut would introduce similar functionality. Even better, the new service will come at no additional fee and require no additional software…
Valve Stories September 25, 2013
Earlier this week Valve made the first of three big announcements being teased on its website with the introduction of SteamOS: a Linux-based, open and freely licensable operating system that will run any number of devices and deliver the Steam experience in the living room. Today the company announced the second part of the puzzle with the launch of a hardware beta program for “Steam Machines” that will run the operating system:
Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.
Valve has designed a “high-performance prototype” and it will ship 300 of the boxes to Steam users for free in order to test the platform:
While these products are still in development, we need your help. As always, we believe the best way to ensure that the right products are getting made is to let people try them out and then make changes as we go. We have designed a high-performance prototype that’s optimized for gaming, for the living room, and for Steam. Of course, it’s also completely upgradable and open.
The company is accepting sign-ups for the beta program until October 25. Here’s how to apply: expand full story
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Once someone shares their Steam library with you, you’ll be able to play and download the titles as much as you want and even get access to your own cloud saves and achievements. The service is enabled by a simple authorization process.
There are a few small limitations here, a single Steam library can not be accessed at the same time by two users. The lender holds precedence and can access his or her games at anytime. If the lender decides to access their games while another authorized individual is using them, the other friend will get the boot with two choices to either just quit the game or purchase it themselves.
“Our customers have expressed a desire to share their digital games among friends and family members, just as current retail games, books, DVDs, and other physical media can be shared…Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.”
Additionally, there will be a limit of 10 authorized users per library, again very similar to what Microsoft originally announced for the Xbox One. Another caveat is that not all the titles available on Steam will support Family Sharing, due to technical issues, games that require third party authorization keys, accounts or some kind of subscription will not be supported.
The new feature will be made available sometime next week, in limited beta. Head below for more info on the Family Sharing service and on how to get into the beta.