The virtual reality industry has options for just about everyone. If you are unfamiliar with PC hardware, there are a number of different console and mobile options to provide an introductory experience. On the flipside, if you’ve been wanting a better quality experience, you might have chosen something like the Oculus or HTC Vive. Valve, the parent company of the digital storefront known as Steam, has now put its own new hardware on the table. Valve Index looks to target premium VR users — and, more surprisingly, it’s opening preorders tomorrow, on May 1.
What Does Top-Tier VR Look Like?
There are always a lot of questions surrounding a new hardware reveal. Oftentimes, questions regarding the target consumer arise. Luckily, thanks to the short details offered in the press release, we know that the new set of hardware offers a “variety of options for those looking to upgrade their VR experience” and is also compatible with all Steam VR games.
There are far too many details to delve into at this moment. However, what you should know is that the headset resolution will display at dual 1440×1600. The quality indicates that it will reduce some of the granularity of previous sets, providing a fill-factor “three times better than OLED, greatly reducing “screen door” effect.” It will also display at 120Hz.
Controllers And Tracking
The visuals aren’t the only thing getting the upgrade treatment. The Valve Index controllers are more geared towards realistically reaching out and grabbing objects instead of relying on triggers or button prompts. As noted in the newly revealed information, over 87 sensors in the controllers work to ensure a more realistic adaptation of bringing human hands into a video game experience. And if you’re throwing an object? Tweaks to velocity and trajectory have also been fine-tuned to mirror all other enhancements.
To accompany the handling improvements, a new base station will also roll out with the launch. The Base Station 2.0 offers “improved range, field of view, and scalability.” Obviously, the only way to do this was with freakin’ lasers. A set of fixed lasers will “sweep 100 times a second to track photonic sensors on the headset and controllers.” What does this mean for the average Joe or Jane looking for the premier VR set? Better depth and camera accuracy for when you’re enjoying those games.
If the information above has piqued your interest, then you’ll be happy to know that preorders for the Valve Index open tomorrow. Purchasing the bundle with headset and controllers will run you US $749. However, there are options to buy individual pieces to the set at this time. Doing so will prep you for the upcoming July 1 shipping date noted on the site.