Valve’s very own VR device “Index” just came out a few days ago and it is already being positively received by consumers and critics alike. The only downside is that it is considerably expensive. Gabe Newell talked a bit about the Valve Index during its launch party as well as teasing Half-Life 3 for the future. Again.
The Valve Index, which is already being hailed as one of the best VR devices on the market right now, is a great headset without a doubt. Valve boasts a 1440×1600 resolution (per eye) as well as a 120 Hz refresh rate (with experimental 144 Hz mode). Valve also offers a 130 degrees Field of View with the Index. Perhaps the standout is the audio and the SteamVR 2.0 sensors which are also compatible with SteamVR 1.0 base stations. The price of the full kit (headset, controllers, base stations) is a whopping $999 USD, almost double the $399 USD of the Rift S.
This is something Gabe Newell talked about in his speech during the launch party. According to Newel, Valve is looking for ways to expand the Valve Index to outside of the US to other countries. Newel also says Valve is looking for ways to reduce the costs for the Index.
Just shipping a product isn’t really the end, it’s the beginning. Let’s talk about some obvious next steps, right? It’s simple for us to broaden our distribution from outside the US, the EU, and other countries. There are obvious ways for us to lower the cost. There are obviously ways to make product wider. But then we get to more speculative.
We are looking at several methods of doing an untethered Valve Index, we have a lot of ideas for kind of revolutionary things to do with the display and optical technology, and lots of opportunities to continue to improve.
He also talked a bit about progression, how one thing leads to another. How previous iterations of a game allows the studio to work and innovate onto the next. He also mentioned a game that hasn’t seen a sequel in decades—Half-Life 3.
Milestones aren’t really the end of anything, they’re really the beginning. So Half-Life led to Half-Life 2, Source led to Source 2, the experiments that we did with Team Fortress 2 were what enabled us to build Dota. Artifact is the reason we’re able to do Underlords.
So, maybe someday the number 2 will lead us to that shiny integer glowing on a mountain someplace… we’ll just have to see.
If Valve’s heart is in the right place, fans might just get to see Half-Life 3 one day. Until then, Half-Life fans can enjoy Black Mesa: Xen Beta which just went live a few days ago. You can order a Valve Index VR Kit from Steam’s website for $999 USD now.