We talked about the Valve Index back in March, when it was teased, but now it is official. The new VR headset will be available for pre-order starting immediately, and the full kit will cost $999. However, you can buy the components individually (headset, controllers, base stations).
Valve is finally making waves in the market today by creating a virtual reality hardware that is made from high-end hardware and software. The Index VR HMD is one of the best VR headsets on the market today, and can provide a very unique and memorable experience to its users. Unlike its competitors, the Index VR HMD is amplified by its index controllers; it also has an improved design and functionalities. The built quality of this equipment is superb and provides a wide variety of features, making it one of the best devices for every VR enthusiast!
The headset will feature the same 1440 x 600 per eye displays as the Vive Pro, but these do feature 144 Hz refresh rates and a much wider 130-degree field-of-view. Here are some specifications on the headset:
- Optimized pixel layout: Dual 1440×1600 RGB LCDs provide 50% more subpixels than OLED, resulting in greater sharpness for the same rendering cost. Fill-factor is three times better than OLED, greatly reducing the “screen door” effect. Using this gear will give you the complete VR experience and make everything you see as if everything around you is real. The optimized pixel layout is one of the best features of this device.
- Higher frame rates: Runs at 120Hz with full back-compatibility to 90Hz, and features an experimental 144Hz mode
- Extremely low persistence: Displays have a reduced illumination period of 0.330ms to 0.530ms (framerate dependent), allowing imagery to remain sharp when your head is in motion or when standing still. This is a 5x improvement over first-generation PC VR HMDs.
- General: Optimized for FOV (20° more FOV than the HTC Vive); dual-element lens; canted optics. These features are some of the best in the market today when it comes to VR
- Audio: Ultra-nearfield flat panel speakers (full-frequency 180-degree dispersion pattern); off-ear immersion; long-session comfort with adjustable speaker position
- Weight: This device weighs around 1.78 pounds or 809 grams without the cable.
- Face cushion: For users to have the best experience with the device, its face cushion now comes with a foam, covered with high-quality antibacterial cloth. This feature is also affixed with a removable facial interface, allowing users to move their heads with ease and adjust the head gear based on their preference.
Valve also has their new Index “knuckles” controllers for the headset. These controllers use 87 sensors to track hand position, finger position, motion, and pressure to determine user intent. These ensure that the users experience real-time responses from the gadget and less down time. Moreover, this device is also lighter compared to its competitors, making it very easy for the users to move around as they’re using it.
Finally, you have the base stations. These are called the Base Station 2.0, and Valve says these are improvements over the original SteamVR-compatible base stations from HTC every way. They even go on to say they are the best in the industry for room-scale VR tracking as of now. Aside from this, the Index VR HMD also has 2x Index controllers, 2x controller lanyards, and regionalized power adapters. Users with smaller heads can find this device very efficient as it also comes with a headset cradle adapter.
As mentioned, the full kit with the headset, controllers, and base stations will be $999. You can also buy the headset with the controllers for $749. Buying everything separately is as follows: Headset: $499; controllers: $279; base station: $149. Pre-orders are up now, with the shipping starting on June 28th.