- Valve employee Pierre-Loup Griffais revealed in a public Discord server that the company wanted to make a VR console, but the plan was ultimately scrapped due to being “stupid expensive.”
- Around the time Valve Index was released, the company had plans for a dedicated VR console. This was supposed to be the successor to the Steam Machines that failed to launch in 2013.
- Based on the information provided by Griffais, the cancellation most likely occurred very early in development.
- Unfortunately, there is no way to confirm these claims unless Griffais somehow comes up with concrete evidence, so take this with a grain of salt.
Valve employee Pierre-Loup Griffais revealed in a public Discord server that the company wanted to make a VR console, but the plan was ultimately scrapped due to being “stupid expensive.” Valve allegedly wanted to release this console alongside Valve Index, but it wasn’t quite ready at the time. Griffais’ messages, shared by Brad Lynch, suggest that this dedicated VR console was likely scrapped very early in development.
A Valve employee stated in a public Discord that they intended to do a VR focused console-like device even for the Index
But they cancelled that plan back then due to cost/software stack being far from ready at the time pic.twitter.com/q5DpSeiqpl
— Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) September 15, 2023
Valve has a history of dwelling on the hardware side, dating as far back as a decade ago. The company tried to push forward Steam Machines, Valve Index, and Steam Controller, none of which have come closer to the success garnered by its Steam Deck. However, some recent details shared by a Valve employee reveal there was another hardware, a dedicated VR console, that was allegedly scrapped around 2019, around the time Index was released.
Griffais said in his Discord message, “We wanted to do an appliance VR box alongside the Index, but Proton/etc wasn’t quite ready at the time.” It seems as though the idea was more in the early stages of conception, an implication that became more visible with Griffais’ following message, “The actual HW work there was just a PC case and a mainboard to go in it.”
If it is true, then this project was canned before it even received actual specifications. The company realized very early on that this would have been a costly venture, one that it didn’t want to take. It should be noted that this was before the release of Steam Deck, so Valve had not seen much success with its hardware projects. A not-so-great history with hardware, combined with the expense concerns, would inevitably result in such an outcome.
Would have also been stupid expensive and buying something at a high-end PC price[s] doesn’t make sense if we don’t have a good desktop/everything story and that definitely isn’t ready either,” says Pierre-Loup Griffais.
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Pierre-Loup Griffais is now part of the team that created the highly acclaimed Steam Deck, which many consider to be the homerun Valve had been wanting to hit. Though it would have been nice to see the VR console hit the shelves, the cancellation could have been for the best. No one wants to pay stupendous amounts of money for hardware, especially when there are already great alternatives.
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