HTC Vive And Valve Bring Portal "To Life" In VR Demo


The HTC Vive became available for pre-order at the end of February 2016, shortly after the company unveiled its near-final version of the product, dubbed the HTC Vive Pre. The Vive Pre can be considered a late prototype and a demo unit at the same time, and as expected, the headset is accompanied by a number of demos designed to showcase the device's capabilities. Since the HTC Vive was created in collaboration with the gaming giant Valve, evidently, one of the demos takes place in the mind-bending world of Portal.

More specifically, the Portal demo referred to as Valve's Robot Repair Center takes place in one of the robot repair facilities within Aperture Laboratories. The player is encouraged by a familiar distorted A.I. voice to interact with various objects in the room, and of course, as one would expect from a Portal game, the dialogue tends to reflect the idea that the player could, in fact, be a test subject as well. The same type of dark, clever humor from the previous two games is also presented in the demo in short bursts, and fans of Portal will be thrilled to meet some of the series' most iconic characters, including the robot duo ATLAS and P-body, in a highly-detailed virtual reality environment. In fact, at one point during the demo, the player is instructed to open the room's doors and allow ATLAS to walk into the service area. The player is then instructed to pull ATLAS apart and perform repairs, which, according to the contradicting A.I., is something that can be done by "anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of advanced electromechanical engineering". Unsurprisingly, the task proves to be impossible and shows that once again – and despite the A.I.'s "efforts" to conceal it – the player is most likely just part of another test ultimately conducted by none other than the sarcastic and beloved A.I. villain known as GLaDOS, who obviously isn't surprised by the fact that a human – the protagonist – is incapable of performing the most basic tasks such as robot maintenance.


Without spoiling the outcome of meeting GLaDOS face to face, it looks like Valve was able to successfully recreate the charm of the previous Portal games in just a ~6-minute demo which virtually takes place in only one room, despite the fact that the iconic Portal gun isn't part of the demo. One could only wonder how a full, finished Portal game designed for the impressive HTC Vive would unfold, and the demo leaves us wanting for more.

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Senior Staff Writer

Mihai has written for Androidheadlines since 2016 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Mihai has a background in arts and owned a couple of small businesses in the late 2000s, namely an interior design firm and a clothing manufacturing line. He dabbled with real-estate for a short while and worked as a tech news writer for several publications since 2011. He always had an appreciation for silicon-based technology and hopes it will contribute to a better humanity. Contact him at [email protected]

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