After that initial tease in March and then the unexpected leak in April, Valve has now officially released details for its upcoming virtual reality (VR) headset, Valve Index; and its a monster.
The Valve Index is no entry-level machine with the company firmly aiming towards longtime fans of VR – especially those who own an HTC Vive. The device has been built from the ground up with high-fidelity VR in mind, so it features a custom built full-RGB LCD display that’s been designed with 50% more subpixels that OLED to reduce the screendoor effect.
Valve doesn’t state a field-of-view (FOV) as you would normally find with most headsets. This is because Valve Index not only has manual IPD adjustment built-in, it also features adjustable ‘eye relief’ which moves the lenses backwards and forwards for the most comfortable position. As such this then alters the FOV depending on the user. Valve does note in its press release that ‘Typical user experience is an FOV 20 degrees larger than Vive’, to give you some comparison.
Other notable features of the Valve Index include the audio system which uses nearfield off-ear speakers to increase spatial presence, a magnetic face gasket anti-microbial fabric for cleanliness; easy to adjust head strap, a 120Hz framerate; front cameras for passthrough functionality and a chamber at the front of the headset – under the shiny plastic cover – which Valve calls the ‘Frunk’, a space for USB add-ons.
And that’s just the headset. Then there are the new Base Stations 2.0 which have a wider FOV, longer range, and snazzier looking casing.
Last but not least are the Valve Index Controllers (formerly called Knuckles). These have been much less of a mystery as Valve has been fairly open about their development, with plenty of prototype models appearing online. Each controller features a thumbstick, digital buttons, trackpad, trigger, and 87 sensors per controller – including optical, motion, capacitive, and force sensors – for full finger tracking. Plus the adjustable strap which will allow players to open their hands to drop or throw items.
So what about the cost? Well the full kit including the Valve Index, Base Stations 2.0 and Valve Index Controllers will retail for $999 USD / £919 GBP. But there are plenty of other options if you don’t need the entire kit. The headset by itself is $499/£459 (works with Base Stations 1.0), or the controllers by themselves are $279/£259 for the pair. The Base Stations 2.0 are $149/£139 each.
|Full VR Kit||$999.00||£919.00||€1,079.00|
|HMD & Controllers Kit||$749.00||£689.00||€799.00|
|Index Controllers – Pair||$279.00||£259.00||€299.00|
|Base Stations 2.0 – Single||$149.00||£139.00||€159.00|
Pre-orders for the Valve Index are due to go live on 1st May with shipments beginning towards the end of June. For further updates keep reading VRFocus.
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