As Oculus prepares to reveal more details about its virtual reality headset at 2013's Game Developers Conference, we're getting a bit of news beforehand — some good, some less so. In the former category, an anonymous tipster has told Road to VR that Valve will be adding Oculus Rift support to Team Fortress 2 next week. According to an allegedly leaked release, a software update sometime during GDC will enable an "experimental virtual reality mode," letting Oculus Rift development kit owners play any mode and character class with it. According to Road to VR, they'll also receive a Steam code for a special in-game hat.
Valve already revealed that it had ported Team Fortress 2 to the Oculus Rift, and a GDC talk will discuss what was learned during the process. The tone of its description, however, didn't necessarily indicate that Valve considered it a satisfactory port or that it was planning to add support publicly.
'Experimental virtual reality mode' could be coming next week
While the future of Team Fortress 2 on VR could be more certain now, the earliest title known to support the Rift is no longer shipping with developer kits as promised. Late last week, Oculus announced that Doom 3 BFG Edition "will not support the Rift development kit by the time we begin shipping." Developers will be given a $20 Steam Wallet or $25 Oculus Store credit, but the company hasn't specified when Doom 3 will actually arrive. To compensate, Oculus says it's "hard at work" helping the developers of Hawken add support for the headset, and that more developer showcases are planned soon.
Update: And just like that, the rumored Team Fortress 2 VR mode is now official, with Engadget confirming that the new Oculus-friendly experience will be made available in the "coming weeks." Engadget also spent some time testing out the new TF2 mode, ultimately concluding that the experience is "a bit underwhelming" since Team Fortress 2 wasn't exactly built from the ground up for virtual reality. Further, Valve's Joe Ludwig has shed additional light on the budding relationship between Oculus and the development studio. "We're friends. They help us out with hardware and we help them out with software," he told Engadget. Valve has a dedicated team working solely on virtual reality, hinting that the Team Fortress 2 port likely won't be the last collaborative effort we see between these two companies.