The long-rumored VR headset from Valve Corporation is finally real. After Valve teamed up with HTC to launch the Vive as a SteamVR product in 201
The news came on Friday in the form of a single teaser image of a headset with the phrase "Valve Index" on the front. The front of the headset is flanked by at least two sensors. This shadowed hardware is the same as the leaked headset that reported UploadVR last November. In this report, Valve's headset was suggested to support a wider 135 degree field of view, in contrast to the approximately 110 degree field of view of the original HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.
Valve's dedicated website for the new device contains no information other than the image above and the date "May 2019". The new SteamVR Knuckles controllers, which Valve has pretty much announced about developers since the release in 2016 and a later series of enhanced prototypes in 2018, are not mentioned here. Also mentioned on this page are no three series produced by Valve VR games that have been repeatedly advertised by Valve co-founder Gabe Newell since 2017.
Since Valve's official site contains so little information, we stick to the frame to find out. If you increase the brightness and the contrast (see above), six points will be visible on one of the surfaces of the headset. These are similar to the weak points used by the HTC Vive, which may indicate the use of an external tracking sensor for this headset, such as the HTC Vive's infrared trackers. However, these two giant lenses imply that an inside-out tracking that is completely managed by the headset without additional webcams or sensors may also be included in the cards. We also see a huge physical slider, probably related to the IPD, an accurate measurement required for maximum VR comfort.
The window "May 2019" should introduce the Valve Index as the next step to two new Oculus headsets. The Oculus Quest wireless PC and PC-powered Oculus Rift S are expected to hit the market in spring 2019, and we both saw headsets at last week's Game Developers Conference.