When Gabe Newell pops up on-screen and says the word "three", you know something's going down. Those attending Unity's Vision Summit, a two-day event focusing on innovation in VR, didn't realise this when he popped up with a pre-recorded video message during the keynote. In it he thanked Unity for having them there, announced SteamVR for Unity, as well as a Valve-made rendering plug-in to improve it across the board - oh, and everyone in attendance would get a free Vive.
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The crowd, as you'll see in this video, were rather pleased about each receiving hundreds of dollars of tech for free:
Special mention to the guy shouting WHAT at the top of his voice as the first responder. He's a man who lives on the edge. He doesn't care who knows how he feels and right then he felt surprise.
Outside the obvious kindness of this move, it's a reasonable business decision to start getting Vives into peoples hands. Oculus definitely have the biggest brand name in VR at the moment, and are the company that most people - developers, journalists and the public - have been hands on with. With the Valve-HTC mega-dollar fund, they can spend a bit to start to level the playing field when it comes to awareness.