Anyone eagerly anticipating the final details of Valve’s Index virtual reality headset can relax, as the company has revealed all of the details, including how much it’ll cost, when it’ll ship, and when you can throw down your hard-earned cash on a preorder.
Valve Index Details and Specs
We’ve seen quite a few companies moving in the direction of computer-free virtual reality, including HTC with the Vive Focus Plus. This isn’t one of those, as Valve is pushing the limits with a very high-end headset that’ll keep hardcore virtual reality fans quite happy.
The screens on the new Index are 1440×1600 RGB LCDs, which Valve says allows for sharper visuals than OLEDs with the same amount of rendering power. The screens are also faster than others on the VR market, coming with a 120Hz refresh rate with full back-compatibility to 90Hz. There’s also an experimental 144Hz mode. According to Valve, “higher framerates improve realism and optical comfort, allowing longer and more comfortable play sessions,” which sounds like exactly what VR fans are looking for.
Another key aspect of the Index is the low persistence of 0.330ms to 0.530ms. This allows images to remain sharp when you move your head around, which is key to creating an immersive VR experience.
The headset will also feature off-ear sound built-in, which makes it easy to hear the VR experiences with as much comfort as possible.
Outside of the headset, there’s a full VR kit which includes new controllers and base stations. Thankfully, the Valve Index Base stations are compatible with 2.0 tracking-capable hardware, which is the same that comes with the Vive Pro, so buyers will be able to keep the base stations they already have.
Speaking of those controllers, Valve says they were “designed from the ground up to enable natural interactions, high-fidelity hand presence, and long-term comfort.” They promise natural, direct inputs that’ll help keep immersion during gameplay. There’s a total of 87 sensors in each controller that’ll track everything including hand position, finger position, motion, and pressure. Valve specifically called out the amount of time it spent developing controllers that allow natural and accurate open-handed throwing, which these will.
Valve Index Preorder, Release Date, and Price
Obviously, the key information about the Valve Index is the cost. For the full kit, which includes the headset, controllers, and base stations, the price is $999. The headset and controllers together sell for $749. On their own, the headset is $499, the controllers are $279, and the base stations are $149.
Obviously, those prices don’t include the computer required to run virtual reality experiences. Valve suggests at least 8GB RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970+ or AMD RX480+ GPU, a dual-core processor with hyperthreading, and USB 3.0.
Preorders on all of the parts of the Valve Index open tomorrow, May 1. Valve says the hardware will ship by June 28, 2019, so anyone who drops the money on a preorder won’t have to wait too long to get their hands (and eyes) on a kit.
Once you snag one of these, make sure to check out some of our favorite virtual reality experiences to play on it.
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