Valve’s ‘no press allowed’ dev conference, Steam Dev Days, is seeing the ax this year, and it seems next year doesn’t look any better.

According to a tweet by Valve Marketing and Business Development team member Tom Giardino, Steam Dev Days is definitely not happening this year.

This isn’t the first Steam Dev Days Valve has decided to skip though, so we’re hoping this isn’t the end of the conference as we know it. Valve famously skipped 2015’s Dev Days, which was one year after the conference’s inauguration and first showing of Valve’s VR headset prototype. Had Dev Days 2015 taken place, it would have come only a few months after Valve unveiled its first version of the HTC Vive.

Image courtesy Cloudhead Games

Last year’s Steam Dev Days saw a new controller prototype, Knuckles, that has since shipped out to select VR developers, but still isn’t in the hands of consumers.

A second-generation Lighthouse basestation was also teased last year, which is planned to work with newer devices VR headsets. Valve has said the hardware will be lighter, quieter, cheaper, more reliable, and require less power, but won’t work with current HTC Vive headsets on the market now. The improved 2.0 basestations are said to ship in “production quantities” in November 2017.

Valve is typically low-key when it comes to announcing these sorts of hardware updates, and very rarely uses Dev Days like it might with consumer-driven conferences. The lack of a Dev Days doesn’t mean the company isn’t interested in engaging the dev community, it just may mean they don’t have any substantial updates, VR or otherwise, to show developers at this time.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • tmikaeld

    Wait, what? I have to get a new Vive headset to be able to use the knuckles?!!

    • Caven

      The 2.0 base stations require a new Vive to work. The knuckles controllers are already working with 1.0 Vives.

      • tmikaeld

        Aah, ok, then I’m on board! Thank you so much!

  • A sad news, but I agree that it does mean nothing

  • bschuler

    I’m actually glad they are skipping it. They have so much stuff in the works they need to spend time working, not showing. Plus, it isn’t smart to show all your cards when the competition has arrived. Personally, I think 2018 is going to be HUGE for SteamVR. By 2019, I am expecting Knuckles controllers, warehouse sized tracking, tracked keyboards, mice, chairs and everything under the sun.

    • Suitch

      And only an extra $110 per tracked object!

  • Jad

    Valve is no developer anymore anyway. that’s like a spare time hobby now. Their main job is to get 30% for the work of others.

    • RFC_VR

      widely reported that 3 full VR games are currently in development at Valve?

      • Jad

        I believe it when I see them. That announcement is 8 month old.

        • yeah because it takes less than 8 months to create 3 full VR games..

    • brandon9271

      In other words they’re publishers.

      • psuedonymous

        Not even that, publishers up-front the cost of developing a game and handle marketing etc, while Valve take a cut of already-developed games.

        • brandon9271

          Yeah, but it’s not like Steam as a software distribution service doesn’t have worth. They handle transactions, refunds, they host, they pay for bandwidth, they have cloud storage for saved games, they distribute software updates, DLC.. plus, they expose a dev’s software millions of users. There’s nothing stopping devs from selling DVD-Roms on the street corner and taking 100% ;)

          • Suitch

            They are the PC Console platform. And people balk at Oculus. SMH.

  • brandon9271

    Obligatory “Half-Life 3 confirmed” comment.

  • Bauer

    What would Valve need to do to be worthy of a high opinion again?

    • Suitch

      Fund a good VR game? The more I see Oculus release high-end titles the more on-board I am with their semi-enclosed environment since the reason is that it allows for first-party funding on games, such as Lone Echo/Echo Arena. Steam has a better Home environment, but I don’t spend much time in the Home–we want better content.

    • RFC_VR

      steamVR? lighthouse tracking? co-development of Vive, etc.

      ‘The Lab’ alone swings it for me, on high end hardware with roomscale plus setup on Vive truly a sublime experience

  • Bryy

    That sucks, cause I really enjoyed Dev Days 2016, and they seem like they really do need to talk to their devs with all the upcoming changes.