GDC 2017: 5 things we want to see at this year's Game Developers Conference

GDC 2017 is almost upon us, gathering professionals from every corner of the gaming biz to convene, show off their craft, and get the insider’s take on what direction the industry is headed next.

Though GDC (full name: Game Developers Conference) is geared more towards demonstrations between fellow game developers and less the kind of massive reveals you’d see dropped at an event like E3 2017, it does occasionally take a break from its myriad inside-baseball lectures to give us onlookers a taste of what’s new and exciting in the gaming world.

As the stage gets set for the annual melding of the minds in electronic entertainment – the official GDC 2017 dates are February 27 through March 3 – here are five things we want to see at this years show. 

1. What’s next for virtual reality gaming?

Last year’s GDC might as well have been renamed The Virtual Reality Tour 2K16, with VR technology such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR all vying for the spotlight.

As we head into GDC 2017, it’s time to see if VR gaming has some legs, or if the novelty is starting to wear off somewhat. 

There’s still evidence to support the former, with games like Rock Band VR and Star Trek: Bridge Crew around the corner, but we’re hoping more companies step up with their own spin on VR gaming. 

An example of one such firm is Manus VR, which last year revealed virtual reality-enabled gloves that offered players a chance to get a literal grip on the digitized world around them. 

Mark Zuckerberg wears Oculus VR’s glove prototypes

Facebook has something similar in the oven for Oculus, as recent photos show none other than CEO Mark Zuckerberg playing around with a pair of prototype VR gloves.

In addition to new spins on a now-familiar tech, we would also love to see what mainstays like Oculus and HTC have in mind for the future of their headsets – perhaps a tease of Oculus Rift 2 and HTC Vive 2?

2. Microsoft reveals more about Project Scorpio and Windows Holographic

Invested as a software platform, hardware system, and game developer in its own right, Microsoft will be out in force at GDC.

We think it’s high time we learn more concrete details about Project Scorpio, Microsoft’s mysterious high-powered 4K gaming console and answer to Sony’s PlayStation Pro

Nebulous descriptions about its immense computing power and six teraflops of graphical razzamatazz are great for building buzz, but now is the time for details, especially if Microsoft is serious about hitting that incoming Holiday 2017 release date. 

While Project Scorpio will be the star of Microsoft’s E3 efforts, GDC is the perfect time to start to get developers on board, plus scale up even more excitement for a big reveal, which we expect during that other gaming show in June.