Gabe Newell made an appearance at GDC to make a series of announcements including the new Source 2 engine which will be free for developers, while their first pieces of hardware will be available in November.
Making an appearance in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference, Valve President Gabe Newell finally announced the much awaited Source 2 engine. The engine was first rumoured to be on the way at the end of 2012 when Gabe was forced to reveal that the engine was under development and that they were waiting for a game to roll it out with. Years later, it now seems that big announcements could be on the way for the next Valve game.
The Source engine has been in use since the arrival of Counter-Strike: Source back in 2004 and was a big factor in the release of Half Life 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal as well as third party and independent releases like Titanfall, The Stanley Parable and Garry's Mod. It was announced that the new Source 2 engine will have a special version that will be compatible with the new Vulkan Graphics API, which could be seen as a step away from Microsoft's DirectX.
But the big story is that the Source 2 engine will be free for content developers. Valve's Software Developer Jay Stelly explained "With Source 2, our focus is increasing creator productivity. Given how important user generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not for just the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favorite games.
We will be making Source 2 available for free to content developers. This combined with recent announcements by Epic and Unity will help continue the PCs dominance as the premiere content authoring platform." This clearly points out the company acknowledging the revenue from allowing content creators to create skins and mods for games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. There is no announcement on when the Source 2 engine will be released, but look forward to announcements at events this year. Could we finally see the next big Valve game?
The second half of the announcements covered the Steam Link and the upcoming hardware expected to be released in November this year. The Steam Link appears to be a small computer that you can hook up to your TV by HDMI. It has an Ethernet port so you can use Valve's in-home streaming without problems. There will also apparently be a release of Steam Machines that month, as well as the Steam Controller which will be priced at $49.99.
The company also went into more detail on their Virtual Reality hardware. The HTC Vive will feature the 'Lighthouse' room tracking system, which will be both freely available to hardware manufacturers and can be integrated into different types of hardware.