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Everything we know about the Valve Index VR headset
Games Virtual Reality 4 min read No comments

Everything we know about the Valve Index VR headset

Valve Index is the upcoming virtual reality headset from the makers of Steam that is set to challenge the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in just a few months. After Valve released a teaser image on Steam on March 29, we expect to wait until May for more news. But the leaks are already coming in, revealing more about the capabilities and specifications of the Valve Index.

Leaked store pages dish details on Valve Index

On April 2 Valve 'accidentally' (cough, cough) released some unfinished store pages with quite a bit of information on the Valve Index, controllers and base station, including a new render, and more tidbits about tracking and hardware requirements. Although the store pages were pulled down, nothing can really be scrubbed from the Internet, especially a product leak. As a result, the details spread around social media and message boards, kicked off by Twitter user @Wario64

So, what do we know now? While the text blurbs on the pages had the typical Lorem Ipsum placeholder text all over, Valve has confirmed their accuracy and so we have a good idea of the product details, hardware requirements and a clearer visual than the initially teased image. Here's what the leaked product pages reveal about the 3 products: the Valve Index Headset, the Index Controllers, and the Base Station.

Valve Index Headset

The ship date for the Valve Index has been confirmed for June 15, 2019, and we can now take a look at device from the front.

Note the open back on the integrated earphones. / © Valve

Includes: headset, integrated headphones, tether with DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0 Connections, power adapter, regionalized power adapter plug(s), 2 face gaskets (narrow and wide) and a cleaning cloth.

The leaked page listed the following system requirements, confirming that Valve is courting their base of PC gamers, since the Index will need to be tethered to a computer with decent specs.  In the original teaser we also saw an adjustment slider for IPD (inter-pupil distance) to adjust for the distance between the user's eyes, something which the Oculus Rift S was called out for omitting

Here's the hardware you'll need to take advantage of the Valve Index:

Minimum specs:

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA 970, AMD RX480
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Additional Notes: available DisplayPort (Version 1.2) and USB (2.0+) port required

Recommended specs:

  • Processor: Quad Core +
  • Graphics: NVIDIA 1070 or better
  • Additional Notes: Available USB (3.0+) port required for headset pass-through camera & USB port support

Valve Index Controllers

Valve's much anticipated Knuckles controllers get a rebrand as Index controllers, here's what's in the box:

Includes: 2 controllers, left and right, 2 USB charging cables, cleaning cloth.

Knuckles EV3 2
Valve's Knuckles VR controllers. / © Valve

Valve Index Base Station

Includes: 1 SteamVR 2.0 base station, 1 XX-foot power cable, regionalized power adapter plug(s).

It seems like the Index works with a base station for room-scale tracking purposes, but the potential to be sold separately could indicate that it may have options for both inside-out tracking or more accurate tracking with external sensors. Or it can simply mean that it's compatible with existing Vive sensors so that users already invested in VR equipment won't have to start from scratch.

Although the Valve Index Headset, controllers, and base station all have separate store listings, it would make sense for them to be sold together in a bundle too. The price would likely be in the $400-600 range to compete with other PC-connected VR headsets. Pre-orders and an official announcement are set for May 1, but we'll keep you up to date here on all the leaks and rumors.

Do you already use VR? Are you excited for the Valve Index? Are you excited to see a VR headset from Valve? What do you expect from it? Let us know in the comments.

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