As part of a press release distributed just moments ago, Valve have officially announced Source 2, the company's next generation video game engine. According to the press release, the engine, like its predecessor, will be free to use for content developers, helping to continue the PC's "dominance as the premiere content authoring platform" thanks to recent announcements regarding Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5. As expected, Source 2 will focus on increasing creator productivity and user generated content by making it easier than ever.
As we speculated, a Vulkan-compatible version of Source 2 will be made available, supporting the next generation of OpenGL technology, currently set to be discussed in more detail during a GDC talk on Thursday, March 5th 2015. Unfortunately, that's all the information Valve currently has to share regarding Source 2, but the extremely long press release discusses a number of other topics Valve is showing off at GDC this week. These include the reveal of Steam Link, which will allow PCs, Macs, and Linux PCs to stream any or all of their Steam-related content to any other PC or Steam Machine on the same local network at 1080p 60hz with low latency. Steam Link will reportedly be made available this November for $49.99, and for $100 with a Steam Controller in the United States.
Another new technology has also been announced. Codenamed "Lighthouse", the software appears to function as the room scale tracking component of SteamVR, allowing a virtual reality headset such as the HTC Vive to track the player's movements in real time. Lighthouse can reportedly be incorporated into TVs, monitors, headsets, and other input devices.
The press release also discusses numerous already-announced projects, including Steam Machines, which will be shown off by Alienware and Falcon Northwest tomorrow before being released alongside Steam Link and the Steam Controller in November 2015. The Steam Machines being demonstrated are reportedly powerful enough to run the newly announced Unreal Tournament on a 4K monitor at 120FPS, seemingly making it quite the beefy machine. Starting tomorrow, Valve and their partners will begin demonstrating the HTC Vive and various virtual reality software from the likes of Bossa Studios, Cloudhead Games, Dovetail Games, Google, Owlchemylabs, and many, many more.
We'll be sure to bring you more from Valve in the near future as we learn more from GDC 2015.