Valve finally opened up the preorder and store page for the Valve Index VR complete set. It will come with quite a price, making it a premium product. The HMD (head-mounted-display) will be £459, $499 or €539, while the whole kit will cost you £919, $999 or €1079. Preorders are open tomorrow, May 1st and shipping will begin June 28th.
The Valve Index Headset
Everything you need to know about the Valve Index Headmounted Display can be found right here if you want to read about it yourself: https://www.valvesoftware.com/en/index/headset. As a quick summary, the HMD will use not OLED displays but two LCD displays. The resolution will be for both individually 1440×1600 pixels and the framerate that is possible for these displays is standard set at 120hz. Though there is also a compatibility option for 90hz and 80hz games as there will be also an experimental, not stable, 144hz mode to play around with.
Audio of the Valve Index
For the audio of the headset, Valve uses “Ultra-nearfield flat panel speakers” which won’t touch the users ears and hence promise for a long time wearing comfort. Well at least for the ears that will be true then. Why they also won’t touch your ears is another idea. Valve promises: “[…] the Valve Index speakers do not touch the ears, so the sound interacts with the geometry of the outer ear and the head. With off-ear immersion, audio feels like it comes from the environment around you rather than from inside your head.” Additionally of course there is also a 3.5mm audio headphone jack when you want to use your own headphones.
Headmount of the Valve Index
As for the headmount itself, Valve of course delivers with a fully adjustable headmount that is able to adjust for the users head circumference, face size and so on. What I think is very Valve-esque is the idea of having magnetic, easy to swap pads inside the headset for quick cleaning and preparing for another user. So for public demonstrations like Gamescom for example, the Valve Index can be prepared very quickly with these hot swap solutions. Meanwhile, Valve will encourage aftermarket solutions on top by promising to deliver the exact specifications for these pads.
Valve Index HMD IOs
Of course the HMD will also come with two front facing RGB shutter-cameras having both 960×960 pixel resolution and a front-expansion slot (called the Frunk) providing a “USB 3 Type-A port – specifically made for tinkerers and makers.” The Headset will come with a 5m long tether and a 1m connector trident. The tracking sensors are compatible with both Steam VR 1.0 and 2.0 sensors.
Valve Index Controllers
Valve Index will also provide controllers for £ 259, $279 or €299. All specific details can be found here: https://www.valvesoftware.com/en/index/controllers.
Valve Index Satelites
Last but not least the Valve Index will also get a brand new generation of tracking satelites. You will be able to use the tracking sensors from the HTC Vive as well, but the new version has some benefits to call their own. For example you can use up to 400% larger rooms now with the new generation of lighthouses. The individual range is at 7m and has a tracking angle of 160° x 115°. You can link together up to 4 of these base stations in one room, leading to a playing room the size of 10x10m maximum. So 100m² in size? That is quite a large room to play VR in.
Valve Index compatible games
Of course every game in the Steam library that is made for HTC Vive, will also work with the Valve Index headset. Here is an example list that was provided by Valve itself. As you can see though, there is no Half Life VR game mentioned in this list sadly.
No Man’s Sky (Summer 2019)
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Museum of Other Realities
Space Pirate Trainer
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter
Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE
Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl
Talos Principle VR
Trover Saves the Universe