The whole lot we all know thus far and what we need to see

valve index hero

Regardless of launching over 4 years in the past, the Valve Index stays some of the superior PC VR headsets. Competitors within the high-end phase has slowed down fairly a bit, with Meta giving up the Quest Professional sequence as a way to shift focus to cheaper VR headsets just like the Quest 3. This might all change sooner or later, particularly with Apple’s high-end Imaginative and prescient Professional on its approach early subsequent 12 months. Will Valve launch an Index 2 as a way to keep aggressive? Good query.

Right here’s all the pieces we all know in regards to the Valve Index 2 and what we’d prefer to see from it.

Key phrase: At a look

  • When is it anticipated to return out? If a Valve Index 2 is coming it possible will not arrive till someday within the first half of 2024 on the earliest.
  • What new options may there be? A dive into Steam’s newest app replace signifies Valve could also be engaged on an Index VR headset with a battery. Other than this, it is possible the headset would swap out base stations for built-in cameras. Up to date lenses with larger resolutions and doable controller updates would additionally make a whole lot of sense.
  • How a lot would possibly it price? If the Valve Index 2 is aimed on the similar viewers as the unique it’s going to possible price at the least $999 and will even find yourself larger than this.

Will there be a Valve Index 2?

Steam Deck Valve logo

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The VR trade continues to be a rising and evolving market with its personal distinctive ebb and circulate. We regularly see new merchandise just like the PSVR 2 and Meta Quest 3 spark new curiosity from mainstream customers, just for VR to considerably fade into the background as soon as extra. Rinse and repeat.

As we talked about briefly above, the market may warmth up as soon as once more with Apple’s upcoming entrance into the area. This would possibly drive Valve into releasing an Index 2. Whereas there aren’t any official particulars about Valve’s plans, at the least a couple of rumors counsel Valve is engaged on one thing.

A South Korean radio certification for a Valve product known as 1030 has surfaced. This aligns with Valve’s earlier inside labels for merchandise, because the Steam Deck was listed as 1010, and the unique Valve Index was beforehand listed as 1007. Judging by the numbers, that is extra prone to be tied to the Steam Deck, however once more we are able to’t say for certain.

Extra compelling, Steam knowledge miner Brad Lynch noted the Steam consumer’s September replace included quite a few VR-specific strings associated to batteries, supporting the thought Valve may be engaged on a standalone VR headset. Would this headset change the Index or increase it as a less expensive cellular choice? That’s more durable to guess.

What we do know is that the Valve Index remains to be thought of some of the highly effective options for VR. This makes it not solely in style with VR lovers but in addition with companies adopting VR for causes past leisure. That mentioned, possibly they’ve seen the Quest’s success on the low finish and need to go after a extra mainstream viewers.

Given this early proof, we’d say it’s fairly possible an Index 2 will occur, it’s simply a lot more durable to gauge whether or not it’s going to find yourself titled as a full successor or simply the launch of a brand new product line. For now, we’ll proceed to confer with it because the Valve Index 2 on this put up, only for simplicity.

What’s the more than likely Valve Index 2 launch date?

  • Valve Index — June 28, 2019

The unique Valve Index arrived in June of 2019 and is the primary and solely member of the Index household thus far, making it arduous to attract any conclusions on when the Valve Index 2 launch date may be.

There have been rumors earlier this summer season claiming an Index 2 launch would occur this 12 months, but it surely’s getting very near the top of the 12 months now. If a launch remains to be taking place, it must occur imminently. In any case, in the event that they wait any longer than late October or early November, it could be too late to make its approach onto any vacation purchasing lists.

If Valve chooses to attend till subsequent 12 months, we’d say an early to mid-2024 launch could be very doable. Once more, that’s actually simply based mostly on hypothesis.

What specs and options may the Valve Index 2 have?

Up to now, the rumors haven’t given us too many particulars, aside from the beforehand talked about code machine suggesting it might need its personal battery. It’s additionally arduous to say whether or not this may be a real stand-alone or simply one thing that doesn’t require direct tethering.

There have been a couple of latest patents for VR headset designs from Valve in 2023, however patents usually are nearly testing new issues and don’t essentially translate into real-world product modifications. Nonetheless, it’s value noting probably the most recent patent render didn’t look a lot totally different from the Valve Index — suggesting Valve is both taking part in its playing cards near its vest, or it isn’t possible going to rock the boat an excessive amount of on design.

valve patent

Past that? If Valve is planning a extra moveable choice, it’s doable it’ll make extra modest modifications to issues just like the show expertise and field-of-view (FoV) to maintain prices from ballooning an excessive amount of. Valve remains to be among the best with a 130-degree FoV, so it won’t be essential to revolutionize this side. Then once more, if Valve goes all in, it’d resolve that retaining pricing down isn’t as necessary as staying on the bleeding fringe of VR.

We additionally think about Valve would at the least need to match or barely exceed the Quest 3’s 2,064 x 2,208 pixels per eye.

Monitoring and controllers are different areas the place Valve is prone to need to make enhancements, which we’ll speak about a bit extra in our “What we need to see” part.

What would possibly the Valve Index 2 worth be?

The Valve Index wasn’t the most cost effective choice when it was first launched, and within the present panorama, the value of the Valve Index 2 could possibly be even larger. For one, the financial system has witnessed a rise within the pricing of VR headsets, as seen with gadgets just like the Meta Quest 2, which elevated by $100 lengthy after its preliminary launch.

Moreover, we should have in mind Apple and its Imaginative and prescient Professional. The Apple VR headset is anticipated to price $3,499. Why is that this necessary? The Valve Index was some of the highly effective VR headsets at its launch, so it’s doable that the corporate would possibly delve even deeper and ship a dearer headset to raised compete with Apple. If that’s the case, the value may simply vary from $1,200 to $1,600 and nonetheless be thought of a extra reasonably priced different.

Nevertheless, let’s not neglect the rumors in regards to the subsequent Valve Index VR headset having a battery, which might make it extra moveable. Presently, we don’t know if this implies Valve is planning to compete with the brand new Quest 3 or if it’s extra prone to align with one thing just like the $1,099 Vive XR Elite.

If it’s the previous, we may anticipate Valve to maintain the value round $500 to $750. Whether it is planning a extra high-end standalone product just like the XR Elite, a price ticket of $999 or larger would make a whole lot of sense.

Must you anticipate the Valve Index 2?

valve index headset

In case you are completely within the Valve Index sequence, sure, we’d wait. The Valve Index is at the moment virtually 5 years outdated, so it’s not well worth the hefty funding when it’s possible in its twilight years.

In case you’re simply in search of a high-end VR headset and don’t need to anticipate one thing which may not come anytime quickly, the HTC Vive Professional 2 ($1251.99 at Amazon) can be a good selection because it’s solely two years outdated and will have various help left.

What should you’re hoping extra for a stand-alone choice? The Meta Quest 3 ($499.99 at Best Buy) could possibly be well worth the buy should you don’t need one thing high-end. In case you’re holding out hope the Index could have a higher-end stand-alone expertise, we’d truly wait to see what Valve delivers earlier than contemplating one thing just like the Vive Elite XR.

Valve Index 2: What we need to see

The Valve Index was headset, however VR expertise has superior within the final four-plus years. Base stations and tethers are now not in style. We hope to see Valve ditch these older applied sciences with their subsequent headset. Past that, some small controller enhancements can be good.

Base stations have to go away 

valve base stations

Most fashionable VR headsets have built-in cameras that assist orient the machine, eliminating the necessity for base stations within the course of. In distinction, the Valve Index requires you to position base stations round an area to ensure that it to trace the headset.

Whereas base station monitoring is arguably a bit extra correct, built-in digicam options have come a great distance just lately. We’re hoping that the Valve Index 2 makes use of a digicam resolution that’s efficient sufficient to exchange base stations altogether.

Controllers may use some refinement

valve controllers

Valve’s controllers are among the greatest round, with nice finger-tracking help and a reasonably comfy design. That mentioned, they’re a bit bulkier than different VR controllers and a few buttons will be arduous to succeed in for these with smaller arms. We don’t need to see Valve dramatically change up its enter gadgets, however it might be good to see a couple of refinements to make them extra comfy for all hand sizes. Higher but, Valve may give us two totally different controller sizes for these with bigger or smaller arms.

We’d prefer to see a tetherless design this time, and presumably two fashions

We now have already talked about the rumored Valve Index 2 battery a couple of instances, and for good cause. A tetherless, battery-driven design is way simpler to make use of than one thing that has tons of wires operating out of it. I used to journey on my HTC Vive’s wire now and again and dreamt of the day that cords would go away on VR. We’ve already seen stand-alone designs which are actually tetherless, however we’re hoping that the rumor is true and Valve goes all-in with the tetherless strategy.

On the similar time, we’re actually hoping that the Valve Index 2 isn’t a watered-down Meta Quest-style machine. The Valve Index is likely one of the strongest VR headsets even at present, and we hope to see the Valve Index 2 proceed specializing in the high-end market. After all, the perfect of each worlds can be to have a high-end Index headset that may nonetheless work stand-alone much like the HTC Vive Elite XR, and a less expensive mannequin that works extra just like the Meta Quest 3.

Which of those wishlist options is most necessary to you?

3 votes