Those wondering if Valve will ever return to the Half-Life universe have been given a glimmer of hope in the form of a rumour the company is looking to launch an own-brand high-end tethered virtual reality (VR) headset with a bundled Half-Life game - but it's not likely to be Half-Life 3.
That Valve is interested in virtual reality is no secret: The company partnered with HTC to build the SteamVR platform on the software side, and has for a while now been working on building its in-house finger-tracking Knuckles controllers. Images of a virtual reality headset whose circuits were emblazoned with the name 'Valve', though, have indicated the company is looking to go still further - and independent anonymous sources claim that 'further' extends to launching an own-brand headset with a bundled Half-Life game.
Speaking to virtual reality focused outlet UploadVR, anonymous sources reportedly verified the images as being genuine and representing a prototype Valve-brand virtual reality headset which would feature a 135° field of view with a resolution matching HTC's recently-launched Vive Pro headset. Each would come, naturally, with a pair of Knuckles controllers in the bundle.
The software side, though, is arguably more interesting: The site's sources further claim that the device would come bundled with a Half-Life game, building upon years-old rumours that Valve would use its much-loved but long-abandoned game series to push an own-brand virtual reality device, but that it is more likely to be a prequel title rather than the almost-certainly-never-happening Half-Life 3.
On both sides, Valve has form: As well as the Knuckles controllers, which are not yet available commercially, the company has produced a range of own-brand hardware from Steam Link microconsoles to the official Steam Controller; on the software side, the company used the launch of Half-Life 2 to push its at-the-time new and shiny Steam digital distribution platform by making the service mandatory in order to play the game.
Naturally, Valve has neither confirmed nor denied the sources' claims.