A teaser image of VR headset called the Valve Index has been revealed by the gaming giant behind some classic titles and the appearing Steam store. Texts on the photo read “Upgrade your experience. May 2019”. It clearly suggests a near-term full announcement or release date of what is likely a high-end VR system.
In virtual reality circles, Valve has long been a present name but a dedicated headset of its own hasn’t been shipped yet. Instead, it was focusing its work on the underlying software technologies. A few weeks ago, the company laid off several of its VR- hardware focused employees but things were just as unclear that time.
They left us whether that meant a release was never coming or one was imminent. Now, we have to admit not a ton to go off of with this teaser image. The look matches the Valve prototype headset ‘ Index’. A display resolution similar to HTC’s Vive Pro while stretching that resolution over a wider 135-degree field-of-view is present in the headset according to the detailed report. This compares to the near-110-degree FoV on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The image is a pretty clear shot. But there are not many visible features from the base of the headset. Here we can see what definitely appears to be an IPD adjustment slider. It allows the users to define the distance between the lenses to accommodate the space between their eyes.
The company will likely rely on their Steam VR 2.0 tracking system as this is almost definitely a PC-powered headset based on the company’s previous work. The release of this product might not be good news for Oculus, which has seemed to walk away from their position pushing high-end PC VR. But it’s far bad news for HTC.
The best features of the Vive are developed largely by Valve including the tracking system and software platform. Thus a high-end device direct from Valve seems like a very good option to the customers.