Valve has been using a demo set in the Portal universe to show off the HTC Vive hardware for some time, and we wanted to give you a full, clear look at that demo now that we have the hardware and software in the office.
An earlier version of the demo allowed you to extend the reach of your arm by pressing a button on the controller, but the latest version features a teleportation mechanic so you can get around the room and reach things that may be outside the bounds of your physical play area. I also tried to take it slow and lean in close to some of the textures and items in the room so you can see how much love and care went into the environment.
In an interesting twist, the chaperone system — which shows the player a wireframe wall if they get close to a real-life wall — doesn't show up in captured video. If you see what looks to be hesitation in the video, or hand motions that don't quite line up, it's due to the fact I was hitting the virtual walls and wanted to make sure I wasn't about to hit real-world walls. It can take a bit of practice before you can use the size of your play area and the teleportation mechanic to walk around completely unimpeded.
This is almost like a short story set in the world of Portal, and the sense of place and scale is amazing when you're wearing the headset. Who knew GLaDOS was so big? We hope this gives you at least a little bit of a sense for how the demo looks and plays in virtual reality. Valve has promised more Portal-branded VR experiences at GDC. If you're hungry for more VR footage, check out Hover Junkers below.