BBC: Valve prepping development tools for VR headsets

Valve is definitely keeping busy. Fresh from unveiling the first batch of commercial Steam machines at CES, the company is about to release a software development toolkit for virtual-reality headsets.

According to the BBC, which learned about the project from Valve's Brian Coomer, Valve will release the VR toolkit next week at its Steam Dev Days conference in Seattle. The toolkit will "give game makers a standard way to provide an interface for VR controllers," the BBC says, and it will be part of a "broader software tool chest that will help give developers a standard way to control games via Steam Box."

Coomer didn't say explicitly which types of VR headsets the toolkit would target. However, he told the BBC that Valve's relationship with Oculus, the makers of the Rift headset, has been "long known"—and that Valve is also working with other companies. On top of that, Coomer revealed that Valve is presently developing technology "based around head-tracking and headset manufacture and design." It sounds like the company could be laying the software groundwork for both third-party headsets and something of its own design.

For now, the only controller Valve has announced is the Steam Controller, a console-style gamepad with dual touchpads instead of analog sticks. The Steam Controller is meant to support everything from strategy games to first-person shooters, and it will be bundled with the Steam machines that hit stores in the latter half of this year. (Thanks to The Verge for the link.)

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