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Update May 1st: Pre-orders are now up.

Valve have pushed out the details of their new in-house VR kit, the Valve Index along with the Controllers and 2.0 Base Stations.

The actual Headset has dual 1440x1600 RGB LCDs and it runs at 120Hz with "full back-compatibility to 90Hz". Additionally, there's an experimental 144Hz mode as well. The displays have a "reduced illumination period of 0.330ms to 0.530ms (framerate dependent)" which Valve claim is a "5x improvement" over first-gen PC VR HMDs which all sounds mighty impressive to me.

The 2.0 Base Station sounds equally as impressive, with you able to have four of them all connected up to create a 10m x 10m play-area. Their Base Stations are compatible with both the Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro. Linking into that, the Valve Index is also compatible with the HTC Vive Controllers, HTC Vive Pro Controllers and the HTC Vive Base Stations, or HTC Vive Pro Base Stations so you don't need to buy every part of Valve kit.

We already knew that the Valve Index would have full Linux support, as Valve previously confirmed this to us directly and with the pages up it's clear this still holds true. Although, their VR-test application is Windows-only. The Pre-orders will start tomorrow, available in a "limited-quantity launch" for the USA and the EA with shipping targetting by July 1st.

No games were announce by Valve at this point, however they are teasing a "flagship" VR game later this year that will be playable on "any SteamVR compatible system". Perhaps they're waiting to properly announce it when shipping begins? Who knows but I will let you know when I know. I would absolutely love to see what Valve could do with it with their own games.

For those really interested in early details, Tom’s Hardware did get to test it and they have some bits up on it. While I wasn't able to get any kind of hands-on yet, I am hoping to see a review unit this time (unlike with the HTC Vive) so we can see how it does on Linux, a quick chat with Valve earlier sounded positive on that front.

They also have a store page up now on Steam and it's time to keep those expectations in check. Brace yourself for the price, as it for me shows the entire kit will go for £919 which is an absolutely eye-watering sum. You can pay less if you already have other kit like the Vive or Vive Pro but it's still pretty expensive. Here's a breakdown of pricing for you across the various combinations possible:

  • Full Kit: £919/$999/€1079
  • Headset + Controllers: £689/$749/€799
  • Headset: £459/$499/€539
  • Controllers: £259/$279/€299
  • Base Station (one): £139/$149/€159
  • Face Gasket (2-pack): £36.99/$39.99
  • VirtualLink USB-C Adapter: £36.99/$39.99

Going by the specifications though, this really is top-end stuff we're looking at so the price isn't exactly surprising but it will still likely limit the audience. For Linux gamers, the lack of VR content could be the real barrier although this is likely another reason why Steam Play exists.

There's tons of details to go over, so do check out all the info here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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69 comments
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Beamboom 30 April 2019 at 5:37 pm UTC
Oh holy mahogany, those specs!

This will ordered the same day I read a full confirmation in regards to Linux support. 1st class citizen at last.
Shmerl 30 April 2019 at 5:40 pm UTC
I'm more interested in the software side. Will Valve back full open stack for it with OpenHMD + Monado (OpenXR)? I hope they would, like they do with Mesa for GPUs.


Last edited by Shmerl on 30 April 2019 at 5:40 pm UTC
eldaking 30 April 2019 at 5:45 pm UTC
I'm not going to dive into VR for many years yet, if ever - I play strategy games on an old laptop - but I find Valve's commitment to open standards and intercompatibility really encouraging.

I don't see VR becoming mainstream any time soon; even the cheap alternatives are expensive, and have been so for years now. But does this hardware look cool.
WorMzy 30 April 2019 at 5:45 pm UTC
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Liamthe entire kit will go for £919

Yeah, no thanks. I still remain unconvinced that this VR hype is anything more than a passing fad, I'm certainly not willing to splash that sort of cash on dedicated hardware to play VR games.
Sil_el_mot 30 April 2019 at 5:49 pm UTC
nice thing.
i will sell my vive pro and buy this one.
from steam itself i imagine way better linux support , the specs are better and they have the better controllers. deal!
Dunc 30 April 2019 at 5:52 pm UTC
£900? Yikes. Certainly the technology is an improvement - it looks like it could become the new “gold standard” for those who can afford it, which would be good news for Valve - but what VR really needs to take off is a breakthrough on price and this clearly isn't it.

To this day, the only VR I've ever actually used is Google Cardboard. And it's been more or less abandoned. Which is a pity, because although it was little more than a tech demo, it wouldn't take much to make it viable in some situations. I know there are solutions that kind of work on Windows, but if I could stream PC games to my phone in its little viewer I'd be more than happy, even with the poor quality.
pmatulka 30 April 2019 at 6:01 pm UTC
Are you ready? Download our app to test your PC.
System Requirements: Windows 10, SteamOS, Linux

Error: Incorrect platform.

Yeah... Linux support.
stan 30 April 2019 at 6:25 pm UTC
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Waiting for a sub-200€ kit that doesn’t require a dedicated room and the fantastic stealth or RPG games to go with it…
Purple Library Guy 30 April 2019 at 6:46 pm UTC
WorMzy
Liamthe entire kit will go for £919

Yeah, no thanks. I still remain unconvinced that this VR hype is anything more than a passing fad, I'm certainly not willing to splash that sort of cash on dedicated hardware to play VR games.
Considering how long people have been fascinated with the stuff I don't think you can call it a passing fad. It's been decades now.
But I do have this feeling that eventually, when they finally get it working just how they like it, and the price comes down, and there are no more excuses . . . it will turn out to be not particularly great for most purposes. A solid and quite cool niche, but a niche nevertheless, not a takeover.
CanadianBlueBeer 30 April 2019 at 6:47 pm UTC
Not available in my country.
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