Valve employee reveals “stupid expensive” scrapped VR console plans

Sayem Ahmed
Steam Machines next to Valve Index

Valve employee Pierre-Loup Griffais revealed that the company was working on a dedicated VR console, but it was “stupid expensive” and allegedly canceled.

Valve has an eclectic history of creating gaming hardware. If you cast your minds back to ten years ago, you might remember the push for dedicated Steam Machines alongside the ill-fated Steam Controller, the Valve Index VR headset, and its most successful device yet, the Steam Deck.

Since the advent of SteamOS and Steam Machines, the company has been quietly iterating on the underlying systems to get Linux support for PC games, and with the Steam Deck, the company has seemingly hit a home run.

But, back when the Index was released in 2019, the company allegedly also had plans to release a dedicated VR console, which could have been somewhat of a successor to the Steam Machines, which failed to launch back in 2013. This was first spotted by VR pundit Brad Lynch, who stated that Giffrais revealed the information in a public Discord channel.

A screenshot of a tweet from Brad Lynch which states taht the company was developing a VR console

“Stupid expensive” VR console canned before specs were finalized

The Discord message states the following: “We wanted to do an appliance VR box alongside the Index, but Proton/etc wasn’t quite ready at the time” Griffais commented.

“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”

The Valve employee further said: “The actual HW work there was just a PC case and a mainboard to go in it”. This implies that the work on the console was killed off relatively early, since the company had not yet gone about with adding actual specifications to the system, either.

Griffais would then go on to be a part of the team that created the lauded Steam Deck, which unifies all of Valve’s previous hardware efforts into the success story that it is today. Needless to say, it would have been interesting to see Valve take another run at creating a dedicated console, now that Linux-based technologies like Proton have advanced significantly.

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