2021 may be the hardware year for Valve, first, of course, by the Steam Deck, but perhaps also by Deckard, a project of which until now we did not know anything, but that has been detected by the Youtuber Brad Lynch, who would have found some very interesting references in the Valve Lighthouse software, the positioning system used in both SteamVR and HTC Vive. This, of course, already puts us on the track that these references point to the world of virtual reality viewers.
And what has this creator found? Therefore a product called Deckard (and I don’t think Valve is working on creating a Blade Runner), next to the POC-C designation. An indicator that talks about the third version (sorted alphabetically) of a proof of concept that they would be working on at Valve. In other words, it seems that Valve is working on a virtual reality viewer that, for the moment, is in the proof of concept phase, more specifically in its third version.
An interesting aspect of Lynch’s research is that Deckard’s first appearance in Valve Lighthouse software dates back to January of this year, so we can conclude that so far in 2021 the company has already tested three different versions of it. The question is, of course, whether we are talking about the same evolved device, or different proofs of concept that have been organized sequentially.
On the other hand, I am very struck by the name, Deckard, and is that you don’t have to be too shrewd to link it to Steam Deck.. Which, of course, invites us to think that Valve might be working on a virtual reality viewer for its handheld console. If so, if Valve were to succeed in taking that step, its merit in innovation would certainly have to be recognized. And I personally recognize that, if it works well, I find it an incredibly attractive idea.
Of course, on the other hand, there is also a second possibility, again theory, and that could also fit the Steam Deck profile, Deckard is not a virtual reality viewer, but an augmented reality viewer. Because, what if Deckard is actually DeckARD (Augmented Reality Device)? Augmented reality has its natural fit in portable devices, and the proof is that we have experienced the greatest deployment in this type of software in smartphones. Thus, an augmented reality viewer could also be a point for Valve.
Be that as it may, chances are we’ll still have to wait until this Deckard materializes… if at all it does.. And we must not forget that we are talking about a proof of concept and that, consequently, it is still very early. It is possible that, if things do not go as planned, Deckard will end up in the drawer of canceled projects.
Also, even if all goes well in Deckard tests, nor should we forget that the date of release for the sale of Steam Deck is approaching, and that according to the leaks in this regard, the company is somewhat in a hurry in its production, something that must undoubtedly be influencing the shortage of chips facing the entire industrial sector that depends on electronics.
Thus, it seems a little daring to think that Deckard can go into pre-production before the beginning-half of next year. Let’s not forget that Valve is not a large corporation, so tackling two such ambitious projects simultaneously seems beyond its means. Thus, and always bearing in mind that this is a speculation, it makes sense to think that when the focus is concentrated on the Steam Deck, but that passed the peak associated to your laptop, and if the tests with Deckard are going well, maybe next year we surprised with the viewer of virtual reality to your console.