Valve programmer Joe Ludwig has shown the new SteamVR base stations that will be cheaper, smaller, lighter and less noisy.
In an interview conducted by Valve News Network, the team of Valve he has talked about SteamVR and they have taken the opportunity to show the appearance of the new base stations that are smaller and lighter, since they only carry one rotating piece inside instead of the two that the current ones carry. This also ensures that they consume less power and their noise is lower, avoiding the slight hum that we hear with the Vive. We can see in the following video, the exact moment when Gabe Newell asks Ludwig to explain the new seasons to him. “The new base station will be available later this year. What we are showing is the current prototype, so it can change anything. We think it will track a little wider, having a larger viewing angle. Basically, it’s the new generation, better in all respects,” Ludwig commented.
Gabe Newell also commented that he hopes that in the next generation we will move from room scale, to talk about home or house scale. What it would mean to be able to take advantage of more than one room in our environment, thanks to being able to place these stations that only require power and have wireless devices. On what would happen if the hardware they are building fails, Valve commented that users would continue to use content, since there are more companies creating hardware. “It’s good for developers to program for an open standard, and that’s why we are part of the Khronos group. We want them to bet on virtual reality, whether we are successful or not, and not to be tied to us in any particular way,” commented Matt Brown.
Another of the things that Newell commented is that they are building hardware at the same time as developing content, because it is a good thing that will help to get more out of it, as Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto usually does. Valve has granted 500 Lighthouse licenses, so there are many companies that are building viewfinders, input devices such as controllers and all kinds of accessories. So it seems that HTC Vive will not be the only option in the future.