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Just as an update to our previous article talking about Valve's new VR headset the Valve Index, I contacted Valve to get some bits cleared up.

As we saw from the accidental store pages going live for Valve's new VR kit, there was a "SteamOS + Linux" system requirements section. After speaking to Valve's PR person Doug Lombardi, they simply said "Yes on Linux support." which is pretty exciting to know we will see same-day Linux support!

Additionally, Lombardi told me they will be targetting May 1st for pre-orders and a full announcement, along with the "Knuckles" controllers which are now just being called "Valve Index Controllers".

The one thing that isn't final is the shipping date, the leaked store page mentioned June 15th but Lombardi said to me they're still "finalizing the targeted day in June to begin shipping units to customers".

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WJMazepas 7 April 2019 at 5:00 am UTC
Comandante Ñoñardo
kuhpunkt
Comandante Ñoñardo
kuhpunkt
devnullNext question is shipping from where. I don't know of any distributor with stock yet.

From the USA. They build that stuff in their own factory.

If Valve don't licence their hardware to third party manufacturers from around the world, it will be a complete commercial failure... It seems that nobody learned nothing from the VIDEOCASSETTE war.

Why? Seems to work fine for the Steam Controller.

Maybe if you live in the USA or another country with an strong currency...
But for the rest of the world, specially countries like Argentina, is impossible...
You won't find an Steam controller at retail stores...And if you do, it will be more expensive than an Xbox controller.

Here in Argentina, you will find an Steam controller for about 100 and 150 U$D at digital store Mercadolibre..
meanwhile, an Xbox 360 wireless is about 70USD.

I repeat. If they don't learn from the mistakes of the past, they will do it again...

Probably Valve is not trying to reach Argentina and other countrys like it right now. VR market is proving to be a complicated market, Sony is not doing well even with the massive PS4 base and the low price compared to the VR headsets on PC.

HTC is not doing well. Oculus is betting on cheaper and social apps for VR. Microsoft had talks with a lot of partners about mixed reality and didnt even made a noise in the industry.

Now Valve is entering this market with its own money, a market that no one is fully certain that if has a future, and what future it has. They are being cautious, surely they want to invest in North America and EU because this are estabelished markets that have bigger chances to work with less risks.

If they were to invest in a global scale, to reach even Argentina, they would need way more money, and with VR they are not sure if they going to have return of investment
Purple Library Guy 7 April 2019 at 6:33 am UTC
gradyvuckovicRe: Price
IMO, sell it at a loss.

Hear me out.

What would absolutely kill this product is a high price tag.

VR headsets are expensive to make, and VR headsets that push boundaries with hardware are usually even more expensive. Couple that with the fact VR is effectively just an add-on rather than a platform, and the still very small market for high quality VR games (due to the small number of users - sound familiar?), the expensive hardware requirements and the unusual requirements for using VR in general (eg: room space) and you have a product with a high price tag and high entry barrier.

Valve needs to move as many of these headsets as possible to seed a market for VR and for this headset.

Selling the headset at below manufacturing cost is not entirely crazy for a few reasons.

1. This product will become cheaper to mass produce in large numbers eventually. Making a lot of something is always cheaper than making a small quantity of it. In order to achieve higher sales quantities, the price will need to start lower.
2. It's also a great way for Valve to secure their future as the home of PC gaming since I can't think of any real competitor to Steam that has VR games or Steam's level of VR support. But as long as VR represents only 1% of the market, that isn't enough of an edge. (sound familiar?)
3. With 3 Valve VR games incoming they can at least partially or perhaps even fully make back the loss on the headset by selling the games. But they won't sell those games if no one buys the headset. Plus, Valve will make back even more of that loss on extra sales of other VR games on Steam as one of the first things a new VR gamer does after getting a headset is buying a whole bunch of VR games to try it out with. Valve will get 30% of every VR game sold on their platform, so getting as many headsets out there as possible is very important.

Selling at a loss is not uncommon for hardware, Sony has done it before with Playstations, after a couple of years of manufacturing the same thing in large numbers the cost of manufacturing goes down and the money is recovered by selling games.

How far below cost is another matter but this headset needs to be very affordable and high value for money to be a winner, while also being high quality. That combination would put a VR headset in the hands of many gamers, and rocket the VR gaming industry forward.
I find the logic here good. I'm not convinced VR will take off even if they do that, but it's probably their best shot and if it works they will make back the subsidy and be well positioned to dominate. Even if VR doesn't take off, the people who buy the ones they do sell will probably pay back the subsidy with their VR game purchases, so it isn't a huge risk.
sub 7 April 2019 at 6:49 am UTC
Purple Library Guy
gradyvuckovicRe: Price
IMO, sell it at a loss.

Hear me out.

What would absolutely kill this product is a high price tag.

VR headsets are expensive to make, and VR headsets that push boundaries with hardware are usually even more expensive. Couple that with the fact VR is effectively just an add-on rather than a platform, and the still very small market for high quality VR games (due to the small number of users - sound familiar?), the expensive hardware requirements and the unusual requirements for using VR in general (eg: room space) and you have a product with a high price tag and high entry barrier.

Valve needs to move as many of these headsets as possible to seed a market for VR and for this headset.

Selling the headset at below manufacturing cost is not entirely crazy for a few reasons.

1. This product will become cheaper to mass produce in large numbers eventually. Making a lot of something is always cheaper than making a small quantity of it. In order to achieve higher sales quantities, the price will need to start lower.
2. It's also a great way for Valve to secure their future as the home of PC gaming since I can't think of any real competitor to Steam that has VR games or Steam's level of VR support. But as long as VR represents only 1% of the market, that isn't enough of an edge. (sound familiar?)
3. With 3 Valve VR games incoming they can at least partially or perhaps even fully make back the loss on the headset by selling the games. But they won't sell those games if no one buys the headset. Plus, Valve will make back even more of that loss on extra sales of other VR games on Steam as one of the first things a new VR gamer does after getting a headset is buying a whole bunch of VR games to try it out with. Valve will get 30% of every VR game sold on their platform, so getting as many headsets out there as possible is very important.

Selling at a loss is not uncommon for hardware, Sony has done it before with Playstations, after a couple of years of manufacturing the same thing in large numbers the cost of manufacturing goes down and the money is recovered by selling games.

How far below cost is another matter but this headset needs to be very affordable and high value for money to be a winner, while also being high quality. That combination would put a VR headset in the hands of many gamers, and rocket the VR gaming industry forward.
I find the logic here good. I'm not convinced VR will take off even if they do that, but it's probably their best shot and if it works they will make back the subsidy and be well positioned to dominate. Even if VR doesn't take off, the people who buy the ones they do sell will probably pay back the subsidy with their VR game purchases, so it isn't a huge risk.

Let me quote myself.
I really don't think subsidized hardware is an option in this particular case.

subI don't know the SONY VR set, but I guess even at the time of its release it hasn't been the most advanced one. That might already reduce the price.

Could it be it is/was even subsidized by SONY?

This is an interesting point imho.

I think this is no option for Valve.
SONY can consider subsidized hardware as an investment to strengthen their platform.
You can only use the headset with a PS4, right?
So it only runs software licensed by SONY

But that Valve headset will surely not be restricted for Steam use and support Open APIs for VR as we know Valve.
This leads me to think it's very unlikely that Valve will subsidize (or even think about a dumping price) the headset in order to make it more affordable, since you can use with other platforms as well.
devnull 7 April 2019 at 11:06 am UTC
kuhpunkt
devnullNext question is shipping from where. I don't know of any distributor with stock yet.

From the USA. They build that stuff in their own factory.

I certainly hope they distance themselves as far as possible from HTC. Maybe commercial support was better but consumers they don't give a damn about. I'm still amazed there wasn't a mass recall on some of the hardware.
Nanobang 7 April 2019 at 12:16 pm UTC
I'm feeling pretty excited by this news. Granted, it sounds unlikely that I'll be able to afford it immediately, but if it's anything like all of Valve's other hardware, it will start going on sale after a year or so. Frankly, I'd just like the visual, 360 degree viewing aspect of the tech. I still want to sit with my butt firmly planted on my couch with my beloved Steam Controller in my hands. ;)
Purple Library Guy 7 April 2019 at 4:06 pm UTC
sub
Purple Library Guy
gradyvuckovicRe: Price
IMO, sell it at a loss.

Hear me out.

What would absolutely kill this product is a high price tag.

VR headsets are expensive to make, and VR headsets that push boundaries with hardware are usually even more expensive. Couple that with the fact VR is effectively just an add-on rather than a platform, and the still very small market for high quality VR games (due to the small number of users - sound familiar?), the expensive hardware requirements and the unusual requirements for using VR in general (eg: room space) and you have a product with a high price tag and high entry barrier.

Valve needs to move as many of these headsets as possible to seed a market for VR and for this headset.

Selling the headset at below manufacturing cost is not entirely crazy for a few reasons.

1. This product will become cheaper to mass produce in large numbers eventually. Making a lot of something is always cheaper than making a small quantity of it. In order to achieve higher sales quantities, the price will need to start lower.
2. It's also a great way for Valve to secure their future as the home of PC gaming since I can't think of any real competitor to Steam that has VR games or Steam's level of VR support. But as long as VR represents only 1% of the market, that isn't enough of an edge. (sound familiar?)
3. With 3 Valve VR games incoming they can at least partially or perhaps even fully make back the loss on the headset by selling the games. But they won't sell those games if no one buys the headset. Plus, Valve will make back even more of that loss on extra sales of other VR games on Steam as one of the first things a new VR gamer does after getting a headset is buying a whole bunch of VR games to try it out with. Valve will get 30% of every VR game sold on their platform, so getting as many headsets out there as possible is very important.

Selling at a loss is not uncommon for hardware, Sony has done it before with Playstations, after a couple of years of manufacturing the same thing in large numbers the cost of manufacturing goes down and the money is recovered by selling games.

How far below cost is another matter but this headset needs to be very affordable and high value for money to be a winner, while also being high quality. That combination would put a VR headset in the hands of many gamers, and rocket the VR gaming industry forward.
I find the logic here good. I'm not convinced VR will take off even if they do that, but it's probably their best shot and if it works they will make back the subsidy and be well positioned to dominate. Even if VR doesn't take off, the people who buy the ones they do sell will probably pay back the subsidy with their VR game purchases, so it isn't a huge risk.

Let me quote myself.
I really don't think subsidized hardware is an option in this particular case.

subI don't know the SONY VR set, but I guess even at the time of its release it hasn't been the most advanced one. That might already reduce the price.

Could it be it is/was even subsidized by SONY?

This is an interesting point imho.

I think this is no option for Valve.
SONY can consider subsidized hardware as an investment to strengthen their platform.
You can only use the headset with a PS4, right?
So it only runs software licensed by SONY

But that Valve headset will surely not be restricted for Steam use and support Open APIs for VR as we know Valve.
This leads me to think it's very unlikely that Valve will subsidize (or even think about a dumping price) the headset in order to make it more affordable, since you can use with other platforms as well.
Yeah, but the thing is that although there's no actual restriction on Valve's part, this thing would be used mainly for PC gaming, right? Consoles restrict outside hardware. And the thing about PC gaming is, while Steam doesn't by any means have a monopoly on PC game sales, it sure as hell has a majority of them, and that majority would be all the stronger for high end stuff, running on Valve hardware. People aren't going to be buying a ton of VR games to play on the Steam headset, at GOG or Itch.
Plus, if it does well Valve would inevitably start to do what Valve does, add features to the platform that make things nicer/more useful/more interesting for users of the headset, which they would miss if they were operating outside Steam.
So for practical purposes it doesn't matter much if they restrict it as such, they'll still get the majority of game sales related to it. Yeah, other people would get some benefits from their subsidy, but most of the games sold would be giving them that 30% (or 25%). They would be very likely to recoup a modest to medium subsidy, and higher sales of the VR thing would help them keep the platform differentiated in a time of rising competition.
jens 7 April 2019 at 8:20 pm UTC
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slaapliedje
NeptNutzThis is the wide blue ocean where PC belongs. No, it's probably not cheap. Then again, PC has never been cheap.

I saw a PSVR in the Best Buy the other day and almost laughed. $350 for THAT???

If only they could get rid of that damned umbilicus! Nothing breaks presence faster than that little snake crawling up your back. What happened to the VIVE Wireless Adapter cobra-looking thing?
Ha. While playing Elite Dangerous it makes me feel like it is part of the life support system keeping me alive.

Do you play ED on Linux in VR? Care to explain what is all needed? I don't have a VR set, but had the honor at a friend of mine, though that was on Windows. I've kept an eye on VR since then but haven't found any good info what the current state of VR on Linux is.
Zelox 7 April 2019 at 10:47 pm UTC
Great, another vr headset. If valve dont push vr games big time I dont see why I or anyoone should buy it.
I imagine the price would be alot. Buying everything separate, from the knuckels to the track thing and headset.
Would rather see valve work on improving steam, improve the steam link app for tv and phone, fix there support, or release some more games. Dont get me wrong, I love steam and valve

And Im still waiting for the drama that will come with ww3, also known as epic vs steam...


Last edited by Zelox at 7 April 2019 at 10:47 pm UTC
slaapliedje 8 April 2019 at 2:48 am UTC
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jens
slaapliedje
NeptNutzThis is the wide blue ocean where PC belongs. No, it's probably not cheap. Then again, PC has never been cheap.

I saw a PSVR in the Best Buy the other day and almost laughed. $350 for THAT???

If only they could get rid of that damned umbilicus! Nothing breaks presence faster than that little snake crawling up your back. What happened to the VIVE Wireless Adapter cobra-looking thing?
Ha. While playing Elite Dangerous it makes me feel like it is part of the life support system keeping me alive.

Do you play ED on Linux in VR? Care to explain what is all needed? I don't have a VR set, but had the honor at a friend of mine, though that was on Windows. I've kept an eye on VR since then but haven't found any good info what the current state of VR on Linux is.
I wish, the launcher uses some .NET stuff, from what I understand and no one has been able to get it to work under Wine. Though I haven't checked in a while with Proton. I'd definitely spend more time playing it if I didn't have to reboot into Windows though!
Asu 8 April 2019 at 11:14 am UTC
Lord Gaben does it again.
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