The device would already be in the hands of the developers, who would probably have been working with it for some time.
Denny Unger, CEO and creative director of Cloudhead Games, The company responsible for The Gallery, published this weekend a photo on Twitter in which he appeared using a virtual reality viewer that could be the same Valve prototype that we met in November last year. The image, as we can see below, shows the viewfinder and motion controllers smudged, plus an emoticon over the user’s head.
Despite the blurring, the silhouette of the front of the viewfinder is similar to that of the Valve prototype that integrated two front cameras and an overhang for what could be an expansion module, as we can see in the following image that a user has published on Reddit.
Unger soon removed the image from Twitter commenting on the following:
“Deleted the recent tweet due to unfounded hysteria about the smiley head blurred. Honestly, it was just a tweet for being in stealth mode for so long. I didn’t mean to fan speculative flames. Much hardware in the studio is not suitable for public consumption. Of all the major players. Small mods on existing hardware and previously publicly visible hardware that is not primetime ready. Blah, blah, blah, blah.”
The truth is that Unger’s words suggest that, indeed, they might be working on something for Valve’s HMD. It is not the first time that the company is one of the first to receive hardware prototypes from Valve, since already in 2017 they had their Knuckles units, controllers that seem to be clearly those shown also in the photo. In addition, by indicating that they have been in stealth mode for some time, it is possible that they have been in stealth mode since July of last year, which was the date shown by the previous images. However, if it were true, the fact that the viewer was in the hands of the developers would not be synonymous with its imminent release, because Valve has already done this with the Knuckles (in 2017) to improve them until creating the first devkit that we saw just a month ago.
Taking into account that HTC already presented its novelties in the CES (Vive Cosmos and Vive Pro Eye), this movement could mean that, as the rumors pointed out, Valve would be preparing an HMD on its own, in addition to that supposed Half-Life for VR.