Valve has a reputation for skipping E3, with its last presentation at the show being about Portal 2 in 2010. The company has now confirmed that this year will be no exception. So no, there won’t be any Half-Life 3 announcements. And no, there won’t be a Half-Life 3 at all.
In all seriousness, the main reason for people thinking that Valve might rock up at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year was to dish out some more information about its upcoming virtual reality hardware, the HTC Vive. With the headset due out before the end of the year, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect Valve, or its partner HTC, might want to take E3 as an opportunity to talk it up. It’s not even listed as a participant in E3’s first ever media briefing to be dedicated to PC gaming, which, as the company behind PC gaming’s biggest digital distributor, seems a little strange. But it’s most likely that Valve intends to use Steam, as well as smaller future events throughout the year, to release information about its VR hardware.
Have all you Half-Life fans recovered from your collective sobbing yet? Yes? Good. So Valve’s absence from E3 will mean the media won’t be able to get its hands on the HTC Vive, at least not any time soon. That means there won’t be any reviews from people who have had hands-on time with the device for quite a while.
Is that a bad thing? Well, on the one hand, it could be an indication that Valve and HTC still aren’t at a stage yet where they can present a fully working model, which, with the device releasing by the end of the year, would certainly be bad news. But it may simply mean Valve has plans for revealing the device that just don’t involve E3. That’s not entirely unexpected, after all. Valve, and its platform Steam, are big enough that they can rest assured that anything they announce, no matter when they decide to do it, will get full coverage across the web. So we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.