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Half Life 2 gets Oculus Support Is this a Prep For Half Life 3?

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The saga of Gordon Freeman is one that is legendary in the gaming world. The original Half Life represented a significant shift in the way that games were designed. Valve put an enormous amount of thought and time into the development of Half Life and then did it all again with Half Life 2. Fans ate up the new set and characters hungrily and once they were done with that helping they sat at the table waiting for more. Sadly, after a few mini-games called episodes Gordon Freeman has dropped off the face of the Earth. We have not heard anything about him and his famous crowbar in a number of years.

Although there has been nothing official it is widely believed that Valve is working on the next installment of Half Life. The problem is that no one knows exactly what it going on in the development of this new game. We have heard rumored launch dates (usually these pop up around E3), but not much else. Valve still has to keep interest in Half Life high and following their pattern of interim releases they have decided to work with Oculus Rift and add support for Half Life 2.

This is similar to what we saw between the original Half Life2 and the beginning of the Half Life 2 Episodes with the Lost Coast Demo where they showed off support for HDR knowing that it would be one of the new features in Half Life moving forward. So, does this mean that HL3 will have Oculus Rift support from the beginning? We are not sure, but we do know that Gabe Newel has been talking about the evolution of game interaction. According to some of comments made by Newel touch is not going to be the next big thing for gaming and is only an intermediate step anyway. This means there has to be something else in store and maybe virtual reality is it for the next few years. We know that while 3D Gaming had a short run in popularity it did not become a mainstream item (despite what nVidia might claim). The problem with standard 3D is that it is bounded by the edges of the display which prevents it from becoming truly immersive.

However technologies like Oculus Rift remove that limitation and allow for a deeper level of interaction with your games. Perhaps this is something that Valve needs to see in action before they commit to making this a standard feature in HL3. There is one thing that could put bump in this thought process though. Oculus Rift is not exactly an inexpensive technology have. Just to get a developer kit you have to shell out $300 and there is no estimated price for the final retail product.

There is a chance that this is a combined effort though and that Valve it looking to develop HL3 for this while Oculus VR is looking for a big title at launch (surely HL3 would be a big enough title). It is something to consider to be sure, but for now all we can do it wait for both Oculus VR and Vale to finish up their respective projects so we can finally enjoy them whether they end up as a bundle or independent.

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Updated 5-11-2013 to correct information about The Lost Coast Mini-Game.

Last modified on Saturday, 11 May 2013 08:36
Sean Kalinich

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