If you didn’t get a chance to pre-order Valve Index yet, the company’s high-end PC VR headset, you may have a fair bit of waiting to do. Originally slated for release on June 28th, new pre-orders for the $1,000 full VR kit are now expected to ship by September 30th.
Update (May 2nd, 2019): Valve has officially sold out of its three main bundles: the full VR kit for $1,000, the headset + controllers bundle for $750, and the $500 headset package.
With the longest waiting period, the full VR kit is now backlogged until September 30th. The headset + controllers bundle is slated for August 31st, and the lone headset option is said to arrive by July 31st. Instead of ‘Add to Cart’, all three packages now state ‘Reserve Yours’.
Update (May 1st, 2019): The company has officially opened pre-orders for all Index bundles and accessories. Valve maintains that shipping on all items is slated for June 28th.
The original article announcing pre-order availability and pricing follows below:
Original Article (April 30th, 2019): The full $1,000 Index VR kit includes the Index headset, the Index controllers (AKA Knuckles), and two SteamVR 2.0 base stations—everything you need to jump into high-end VR (minus a capable computer).
You’ll also be able to pre-order everything separately that comes in the full VR kit, including the headset itself, the controllers, SteamVR 2.0 base stations, and other accessories like extra facial interfaces and cables. Until now, users were unable to purchase SteamVR 2.0 base stations separately, as HTC doesn’t sell them despite offering them as a part of their $1,400 HTC Vive Pro full VR kit.
The company says that Index will see a “limited initial release” in the US and EU first, with the intention of ramping up quantities based on demand. The headset’s box shows the contents labeled in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese, pointing to an upcoming launch in Japan at the very least.
Here’s a breakdown of the pricing for all bundles and accessories across the US, Eurozone, UK, and Poland:
|Full VR Kit||$999||€1,079||£919||zł 4,669|
|Index & Controller Kit||$749||€799||£689||zł 3,499|
|Index Headset||$499||€539||£459||zł 2,339|
|Controllers (Pair)||$279||€299||£259||zł 1,309|
|Base Station (Single)||$149||€159||£139||zł 699|
|Face gaskets (2)||$40||€43||£37||zł 189|
|Index Virtual Link Type-C Cable||$40||€43||£37||zł 189|
Note: Index is backwards compatible with the SteamVR 1.0 base stations that shipped with the original HTC Vive. If you already own a Vive, you can conceivably purchase the $750 headset and controller bundle and start playing. Take note that only the same version of base stations can work together. Different base station versions (1.0 & 2.0) are not interchangeable, and cannot be paired together.
If the sticker shock still has you reeling, you might take solace in Valve’s claim that Index is for “experienced, existing VR customers who want more and don’t want to wait,” a sharp counterpoint to Facebook’s move to offer a modestly upgraded Rift via the $400 Rift S. Furthermore, Valve prominently claims Index features the “best-in-class visuals and audio” in addition to “natural input, reliable tracking, and long term comfort.”
You can pre-order all of the components and bundles above here starting May 1st.
- Display: 1,440 × 1,600 dual LCD panels. Custom full-RGB LCD promises good fill-factor and minimal screen door effect, providing 50% more subpixels that OLED. Low persistence displays: 0.330ms
- Framerate: 120Hz, full backwards compatibility with 90Hz, experimental 144Hz mode
- Optics: Custom dual-element lens boasts increased sharpness, FOV 20 degrees larger than HTC Vive (estimated ~110 degrees) and large eyebox
- Adjustablilty: Mechanical IPD adjustments, “eye relief” adjustments to let lenses sit as close as possible to the eye for max FOV
- Audio: Nearfield off-ear speakers (speaker drivers, not headphone drivers) boast higher fidelity audio. No physical contact with ear aims for increased play-session length
- Comfort: Reduced weight, high-quality fabrics and padding, geometry targeting “95% of adult heads”
- Modability: Extensibility through “Frunk” USB expansion bay and stereo cameras. Stereo cameras don’t provide room or hand tracking, although Valve will be providing CAD models, specs and sample code to the maker community
- Minimum Specs: Dual core CPU with hyperthreading, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD RX480
- Recommended Specs: Quad core CPU or greater, NVIDIA GTX 1070 or greater
- Open Hand Design: Allows direct actions such as pick up/drop, throw, grab, pinch, and squeeze
- Finger tracking: full five-finger tracking using capacitive sensors
- Sensors: 87 sensors per controller, including optical, motion, capacitive, and force sensors. Sensor fusion determines user intent, Valve says
- Comfort: Dynamic sensor/pad assignment to accommodate different hand sizes. Adjustable strap for open hand interactions. Anti-microbial strap fabric
- Compatibility: Backwards compatible with all SteamVR games
- Button Configuration: A/B & X/Y buttons, thumbstick, trigger, and ‘track button’ – combination trackpad and force enabled button for various functions
- Battery/Charging: Charged via USB C, 900mA fast charging, 1100mAH capacity Li-Ion. Polymer battery promises 7+ hours of battery life
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Check out our full hands-on with Valve Index to learn all about what makes the company’s enthusiast-level headset tick.