LG and Valve will unveil a new SteamVR headset at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) 2017 that's scheduled to start in San Francisco later today. A prototype of the device will be showcased at Valve's GDC booth for the entire duration of the event that will run until Friday, March 3. Earlier today, Valve VR developer Chet Faliszek took to Twitter to announce that LG will soon become a part of the SteamVR ecosystem that's currently built around the HTC Vive as the Taiwanese tech giant has an exclusivity deal with Valve. However, this latest announcement suggests that HTC's exclusivity deal might be coming to an end.
LG and Valve are now asking developers to visit Valve's GDC booth and provide them with feedback on their prototype. The device that's set to be showcased later today will be modified based on the impressions from early testers and is still some time away from a commercial release. In a short statement sent to media outlets, Valve said that details regarding pricing, release dates, and territorial availability of the headset will be announced at some point in the future. The wording of the announcement seemingly suggests that LG and Valve aren't developing a headset that's intended to be paired with just a smartphone like Samsung's Gear VR and Google's Daydream View are. Instead, it seems that the companies are working on a head-mounted display that's intended to be used with personal computers, i.e. a device that's similar to the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
This isn't the first time LG decided to explore virtual reality seeing how the company already launched the LG 360 VR at this point last year. However, the fact that the South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer now decided to partner with Valve shows that the company is serious about VR and is apparently willing to commit more resources to this emerging technology that's still seemingly years away from mainstream adoption. Valve's chief Gabe Newell recently said how the HTC Vive is "barely capable" of delivering an average user experience and added how the company will be fine if VR turns out to be just a fad. Regardless, Newell clearly stated that Valve still believes this technology has a lot of potential and this latest turn of events adds more weight to those comments.