Unexpectedly on a Friday night, Valve surprisingly launched a teaser site featuring the brand new virtual reality headset called Valve Index, which appears as a stand-alone device and not in partnership with its longtime VR partner HTC. The teaser site discovered by Ars Technica provides no information other than the expected release date of the May 2019 index.
That is, there is really a lot in this picture, and we can see a lot assemble previous valve lays. We can see that the Valve Index has four prominent wide-angle cameras, suggesting that the Oculus Quest and other second-generation VR headsets have inside-out tracking, allowing players to navigate through a room easily to move information about setting up base stations or external tracking cameras.
It has an adjustment slide, presumably for IPD (distance between the pupils), so that it is possible to accommodate people whose eyes are closer together or farther apart than the average. This is a pretty common feature, but the new Oculus Rift S is missing something. (Oculus says you can set your IPD in the software settings of the Rift S.) Apart from these details, we're left with the specifications, the peripherals, or the question of whether it's a stand-alone headset, like the Quest, or one connected to a high-end PC, such as the Rift S, the HTC Vive and Vive Pro.
As for previous reports, UploadVR reported last November that Valve was actually working on its own headset with a wider field of view of 135 degrees And we know Also, Valve has been working on its own set of so-called "Knuckles" motion controls, which have been tested with developers for quite some time. However, Valve was disappointed earlier this month by speculation about a new VR device, as the company said it had released photos of a prototype headset trimming the VR hardware division, according to the Reddit publisher.
Regardless, it is now clear that the headset exists. We will hopefully receive some additional information before the target of May 2019, which may just be a window of detection events and unrelated to the launch. Valve will enter a crowded market. Oculus plans to launch both the independent Quest and Rift S headsets in the spring. HTC has just launched its Focus Plus business product and is poised to bring the new Vive Cosmos headset to market this year or beyond.
When we asked Valve if there could be more clues – or clarify if this was just a joke of April Fool's joke – Valve's Doug Lombardi responded only with "Not April." May 19659010.