A lot of the kinks in virtual reality hardware and software have been ironed out, and Valve has decided to jump into the front end of the current generation of immersive experiences with the Index VR head-mounted display. The original reveal of the Valve Index included plans to reveal more in May, but we have a price and official release date a bit sooner. The Valve Index will ship June 28 and the complex VR kit with the headset, controllers, and two base stations will cost $1,000.
Individually, you can get the Valve Index VR HMD for $500. The controllers are $280, and you can get them bundled with the Index for $750 to save a few bucks. The Valve Index Base Station’s price is $150 and is compatible with any headset with support for SteamVR 2.0 like the Index and HTC Vive Pro.
Valve Index VR HMD specs
- Dual 1,440 x 1,600 RBG LCDs
- Capable of 80/90/120/144Hz frame rates
- Adjustable IPD (distance between eyes) and eye relief (distance from the lens to eyes)
- “headset provides 20 degrees more FOV than the HTC Vive for typical users”
- Off-ear speakers
- Magnetic face pads that can be swapped
- RBG cameras for computer vision
- USB 3 Type-A port expansion slot
The specs for the Valve Index place it firmly in the second generation of PC-tethered VR headsets with performance rivaling the similarly priced HTC Vive Pro.
Valve Index Controllers
The devices that were formerly known as “Knuckles” are now officially known as the Valve Index controllers. As described on the official webpage, the controllers are “designed from the ground up to enable natural interactions, high-fidelity hand presence, and long-term comfort.” The Boneworks experimental project from Stress Level Zero, which you can see in a video below, shows off what the controllers are capable of.
The Valve Index will be compatible with SteamVR content, but there’s sure to be a few major titles released at or around launch to convince enthusiasts to pick this up. UploadVR reports that the VR headset’s flagship game is coming in 2019 and will be compatible with any hardware with SteamVR support. There have been rumors that Valve is working on something related to Half-Life, but we’ll have to wait and see just what’s in store. It’s highly unlikely it’s Half-Life 3, but we can dream.