Valve first released their VR gear in 2016 after teaming up with HTC to create the SteamVR headset Vive. A year later, they released the VR Pro, which is an updated version with better specifications. But now in 2019, Valve is planning to release their own VR headset called the Valve Index, which aims to push the boundaries of their previous VR headsets.
The new headset is said to feature a cutting-edge, high-spec gear that comes with a price tag to match the current VR offerings in the market. The headset alone is priced at $500, while a complete set that includes a headset controller and base station bundle will cost $999 upon its initial release this coming June.
Although the cost may surprise you, Valve promises that the headset is worth its price. It is said to have a display a pixel persistence of .330 ms, compared to its predecessor the Vive and its 1.85 ms pixel persistence. The Valve Index also has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and experimental support for 144 Hz. These features were all designed to produce smoother motion and decrease motion sickness.
But above all its features, the Valve Index boasts its banner feature which gives users a larger field of view. Thanks to its custom dual-element lens, this VR headset gives a field of view that’s 20 degrees larger than other VR gears.
The Valve Index also includes off-ear speakers to deliver better sound quality. Plus, it’s lighter and has extra padding so users can play comfortably for more extended periods. It is also moddable, which allows developers to extend its capabilities by adding modules.
About its controllers called “Knuckles,” it is said to feature 87 different sensors which include a pressure sensitive grip to detect squeezes, and an individual finger tracking. Users will also still be able to get all the buttons, joysticks, and touchpads. The controllers cost $279 for a pair, or you can buy them bundled with the headset for $749.
Valve also offers Index’s own base station which cost $149 alone and $1,000 if bundled with the controllers and the headset.
And of course, Valve Index has SteamVR compatibility which means that the VR headset will work with all SteamVR games. In Valve Index’s launch presentation, Steam games like No Man’s Sky, Boneworks, Aperture Hand Labs, and Vacation Simulator were featured.
The Valve Index VR is available for pre-order now and will be officially launched in the market on July 1. The VR headset will be compatible with Microsoft Windows gaming PC.