Valve Challenges Oculus with 'Dota 2' VR Headset

Virtual reality developers and enthusiasts alike recently gathered at the Boston VR Bender, where attendees were encouraged to experiment with the Unity game engine and build new software on the spot. One of the most intriguing finds from the meetup is Valve's 'Dota 2' headset, which provides Oculus Rift-type functionality with sharper displays and detailed motion tracking.

Reddit user jonomf documented his time with the Dota 2 (named after Valve's popular strategy title), noting that the headset provided "low persistence, perfect tracking [and a] very high frame rate." The black headset looks a bit bulkier than the Oculus Rift DK2, with a front panel that drops down to the user's mouth level. The white polka-dot design that spans the exterior isn't for show; Each IR-reflective dot is there for motion tracking purposes.

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The Dota 2's dual vertical displays create a resolution of 2160 x 1280 pixels, which is crisper than the Oculus Rift's 1920 x 1080. The reddit user tested Valve's official VR demos, one of which let you hang out in a room with the characters from popular first-person puzzler "Portal 2." His only complaint was some physical disorientation after taking the device off. 

The Reddit post notes that the Dota 2 is a prototype with no official release currently planned. However, with E3 right around the corner and the virtual reality space growing consistently (Not to mention Valve's SteamOS ecosystem), we're hoping Valve has more VR goodness up its sleeve for the future.

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Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.