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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.

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Faalhaas 30 April 2019 at 10:04 pm UTC
pmatulkaAre you ready? Download our app to test your PC.
System Requirements: Windows 10, SteamOS, Linux

Error: Incorrect platform.

Yeah... Linux support.

Launch the app using Steam Play/Proton. Then hit "Check" to abruptly end the program. :')
gomera 30 April 2019 at 10:14 pm UTC
It would be great if the controllers were compatible with HTC Vive, I wouldn't mind spending $280 for that lvl of hand tracking.
ison111 30 April 2019 at 10:50 pm UTC
Purple Library GuyConsidering 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.
I see VR being able to find a niche in FPS gaming quite easily. Although I've never tried VR myself yet.

But I've felt that way ever since I saw a demo video where someone was throwing grenades in VR, and they had full control over how far to throw it, and could even toss one over their shoulder.

I can see that level of detail being taken advantage of to create entirely new levels of skill needed in FPS games.
Ever notice how complex some of the gun reloading animations are in some games? Well what happens if those animations are no longer just animations and you have to actually put the clip in yourself while being shot at.
>lol check out this n00b who doesn't know how to properly reload that gun
Or as another example peeking around corners, or shooting from behind cover no longer have to be programmed in as special game features, you'd get them for free and they'd be much more natural and fluid.

There's just too much potential for VR in FPS games in my opinion for it to not become a big deal in the future.
Of course, most of what I said is really about the controllers and not so much about the VR headsets, but if you're moving around you probably do want a screen strapped to your face too.

Last edited by ison111 on 30 April 2019 at 10:59 pm UTC
g000h 30 April 2019 at 11:38 pm UTC
A few comments from my corner:

No, I will not be buying it at this price point. Had it been closer to PSVR pricing, then my interest would have perked a bit, but only if there was something very compelling to play with it.

You're going to need a beast of a PC to properly take advantage of this headset, and I expect you'd want RTX2080Ti and top end processor, e.g. Ryzen2, Ryzen3, Intel 8th or 9th gen 6-core i7. So, if you don't already have those, then add that to the overall cost.

Personally, I'm disgusted with the cost of premium smartphones, although I do see those purchases as being a LOT more useful in day-to-day usage for the people that wasted their money on them, than the use that people will make of a VR system costing a similar sum.

It wouldn't surprise me if this is released at this high a price point to sponge money off early adopters, and it won't be long before it is on 50% discount (not unlike many games titles also purveyed by Valve). Of course, when it is 50% cheaper, people will already be thinking "Wow what a massive saving I'm making on this premium kit" and that will likely help to draw in more takers.
Mountain Man 1 May 2019 at 12:04 am UTC
BeamboomOh holy mahogany, those specs!
Oh holy mahogany, that price!
Comandante Ñoñardo 1 May 2019 at 12:58 am UTC
With the crappy economy We have in Argentina, this will NEVER happen.
x_wing 1 May 2019 at 1:26 am UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoWith the crappy economy We have in Argentina, this will NEVER happen.

You know that we have a little monarchy that will buy it... in the moment they leave the country with our economy leftovers.
slaapliedje 1 May 2019 at 4:40 am UTC
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DerpFoxThe full pack should have been at 500€ MAXIMUM to be interesting. And at that price it would still have been really expensive. And a good price would have been 300€.

I agree! And my house should have cost no more than €10000, because that would have been a good price!

No, its just a comparison with the other products in the VR segment that are here or to come. 1000€ is way over priced where most of the other VR sets are sitting between 300€ and 700€. At this point its not even a question of spec, the product just won't sell. Valve have invested so much time and money in that project and all the related games, if no one is buying its just a wasted investment.

At a 700€ price the HTC Vive already have great difficulties to sell. the best seller is currently the Playstation VR priced at 300€ and even at that price people think twice before buying one.

If Valve want to penetrate the VR market they wont make it at 1000€. 500 or 300 might seem low but that is were the others are. I have a couple friends who follow the VR news and they were until today hesitant on what they will buy as their next VR Kit. It was between the Oculus Quest set and the Valve Index. Now they have their answer they will go for the Oculus.

I'm sorry but Valve have already lost, I bet next year this time they will announce they stop production of the Index.
So let's see what you get with 300 for PSVR. Right now you can get a bundle with Moss and Astrobot (two games that are platformers, beautiful, but not really 'VR') and a Camera and the headset.

But that's now after it's been discounted, it was 400 originally. The Vive was originally 800, the Vive Pro (full set) is still 1200-1400! So for the Index being WAY better specced than the PSVR (by the way I now have a PSVR, Vive and Vive Pro, and the PSVR barely holds a candle to the Vive). But Valve has broken down the price for you, it's 500 just for the headset, just like the Vive Pro. So if I (already having the base stations) wanted just the headset and the controllers, it's 749 (which is probably what I'll get, though it might be nice to upgrade to the Base station 2.0 just so I can sell my old set.)

Anyone who thinks that HTC Vive is having a hard time selling is high. I can't seem to find current information, but it looks like the latest out there is that they sold 420k in 2016.

HTC is selling at profit on every one they sell. Not sure the same can be said for PSVR (I bought mine mainly because there are some weird hoops you have to jump through to watch 3D movies on the PC through the Vive, whereas it's built into PSVR now, but it's definitely not as nice as the Vive Pro. I haven't really tried any games yet (waiting for the Move controllers)).
kuhpunkt 1 May 2019 at 5:24 am UTC
gomeraIt would be great if the controllers were compatible with HTC Vive, I wouldn't mind spending $280 for that lvl of hand tracking.

Ehm... they are. That's the whole point of SteamVR. You can upgrade what you want. I'll get the Index Controllers now and consider getting the HMD later.
gurv 1 May 2019 at 7:15 am UTC
Hey Liam, why no € prices in the article?
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