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LG's 'next-generation' virtual reality headset will debut at GDC this week

Why it matters to you

LG's headset could be more advanced than anything we've seen before, but should be compatible with a lot of Steam content.

LG will be one of the first companies to offer a high-end alternative to Oculus and HTC/Valve’s virtual reality headsets. Valve confirmed that a prototype headset will be shown off this week at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) by the South Korean tech. firm. Built using SteamVR tracking technology and using the OpenVR platform, the headset will likely compete directly with the Vive and Rift headsets.

Although Valve worked together with HTC to produce the original Vive and its associated technologies, the SteamVR platform has been, for the most part, open to other companies from the get go. Valve even offered a training course for hardware partners, though it recently made the process of certification easier.

LG’s headset is part of that officially sanctioned system. It will utilize SteamVR software for its tracking and will be fully integrated with Steam, and therefore potentially compatible with a lot of software content. If not, it shouldn’t take much for developers to make it so.

More: We tried IMAX VR, and it left us excited as hell (and weak in the knees)

The version that LG plans to show off at GDC will be in the prototype stage, but Valve describes it as a “high-fidelity, next-generation VR experience,” as per RoadToVR. That means it could implement all sorts of forward-thinking technologies, like inside-out tracking, foveated rendering, and improved resolution and field of view, a little like Qualcomm’s upcoming mobile VR headset.

With a lack of confirmed features though, it’s no surprise that we don’t have any information on potential pricing or release dates for the unnamed headset, but Valve says it’s coming.

Such hardware is expected to bridge the gap between generations of Rift and Vive headsets, though should give us a good idea of the direction the industry is heading. Wireless connectivity seems a distinct possibility, considering its growth among the aftermarket accessory scene, though we’ll have to wait for LG’s incoming announcement to learn more.

GDC runs all this week from February 27 through to March 3, so we should hear more any day now.