Job Listing says: “We are pushing the boundaries of virtual reality. We are looking for software engineers who can help us achieve the next steps in virtual reality with millions of customers around the world. The main scope of this position is to prototype, ship, and support consumer gaming products.”
The company has been on the market for more than three years. It still has the best audio and tracking quality, but it doesn’t support wireless play, and it has a lower resolution than even low-cost headsets.
In May 2021 Valve CEO Gabe Newell referred to “making big investments in new headsets” in a talk at a school. Three months later Valve product designer Greg Coomer was asked by The Verge whether Steam Deck’s chip could be used in a standalone VR headset. He replied it would “run well in that environment” and said “it’s very relevant to us and our future plans”.
In February of this year, as Steam Deck shipping began, Newell mentioned VR in multiple media interviews. He told Edge Magazine Steam Deck represented “battery-capable, high-performance horsepower that eventually you could use in VR applications as well”, noting “We’re not really there yet, but this is a stepping stone.” When discussing Steam Deck’s technology with Eurogamer he mused “why can’t I have that in a tetherless integrated VR solution?”.
Brad Lynch discovered the first direct evidence of a new headset in the code of the SteamVR driver files. The headset is named after the main character in the movie Blade Runner. Ars Technica said its sources confirmed Deckard’s existence.
Four months ago, a Valve patent filing was made public, which might have revealed the design of Deckard’s strap.
The new job listing indicates that Deckard may have inside-out head and controller tracking, eye tracking, hand tracking, passthrough, and scene understanding. It could be that it will support mixed reality, though it could also be an evolution of the SteamVR Chaperone safety boundary system.
If Deckard is shipping soon, it could take on Meta’s Quest Pro.