In a totally expected (and appreciated) move, Valve will be releasing an update for Team Fortress 2 which will officially add support for Oculus’ Rift virtual reality head mounted display. It’s good news after the announcement that the VR headset will not have Doom 3 BFG Edition support out of the box. Furthermore, Valve is also going to be releasing a hat for TF2 that will indicate VR users.
Team Fortress 2 programmer Joe Ludwig explained, “When we first played an early version of Virtual Reality mode in Team Fortress we were blown away by the immersion we experienced. VR is just getting started, but it is going to have a big impact on gaming. This update will let us share that experience with more of the Team Fortress community.”
Supposedly, Steam codes will be distributed by Oculus which will give Rift owners access to download the special VR TF2 hat.
Valve will also be giving a speech at this year’s GDC regarding adding virtual reality support to Team Fortress 2.
Oculus Rift Development Kit is shipping this month through April to backers.
Official images of Team Fortress 2 and the exclusive Oculus Rift hat have been released by Oculus VR via their blog and Kickstarter.
In a special on Engadget, Joe Ludwig explains why Team Fortress 2 was chosen, “Team Fortress was sort of the obvious choice for this. The Team Fortress community is large and healthy. There are millions of people playing TF every week, but they’re also used to us shipping a lot of updates. The real reason for [choosing] TF is the community around TF, and the way that we use it as a place where we run experiments.”
He also explained that TF2’s VR Mode is a big experiment for Valve. The company is not sure how well fans will receive this new feature. The outcome of this experiment will influence the future of VR for Valve including hardware development and possible future game support including titles like Half-Life 2.
Furthermore, Valve’s GDC 2013 VR panels have also been defined along with their presenters…
Why Virtual Reality is Hard (And Where it Might be Going) presented by Michael Abrash.
What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality presented by Joe Ludwig
Don’t forget, you can also listen to our interview with Valve’s Michael Abrash in which he discusses the future of AR & VR.