Valve's Index will be $1,000

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#1 Posted by Rorie (5881 posts) -

There's a bunch of specs on this thing over at Ars Technica. It doesn't look like there's anything super-revolutionary about it:

So what is Valve's big aspiration for the future of VR as far as the Index is concerned? The answer is long-term comfort. In Valve's eyes, that goal doesn't (yet) include features that we have been dreaming of, such as reducing the clutter of an average PC-VR experience, dropping the price, optimizing performance with eye-tracking systems, or liberating users with true, cordless freedom. Valve wants to convince us that Index is as good as VR users are going to get at a $999 price point in 2019—and that it delivers $999 worth of VR quality in 2019.

"Oftentimes with virtual reality, people want to say what's 'good enough,'" one Valve representative said during an informal Q&A. "And their sample size for 'good enough' is five minutes [of VR use]. One of the driving factors for our game teams, and externally for our partners, is that we want long-form VR experiences."

Another Valve staffer interrupted, saying, "I don't use VR for 30 minutes a day. I use VR hours a day. This is where we ended up. What's good enough for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, is dramatically different than one hour, two hours. We think tracking, optics, displays, ergonomics, input fidelity, the comfort of your hands—all of those matter a lot."

"They're all coefficients, too!" an engineer added. "They're all related."

Valve still has to release more information about the games they're putting out for this thing before I'll get too excited about it. I'm not sure that VR as a whole is still a selling point for a lot of people - I know there are still a bunch of games being made for VR but it's not something I see a huge amount of people chatting about? I certainly don't know of anyone who's spending hours of time a day in VR. But more power to them if they do because it sounds like the Index is going to be right up their alley.

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#2 Posted by reap3r160 (269 posts) -

It's possible it was wrong, but IGN reported it being $749. Unless something wasn't included such as the upgraded sensor towers. But to my knowledge that included the headset and new controllers at least.

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#3 Posted by BoOzak (2648 posts) -

I dont think it's the lack of visual clarity that is holding VR back. Making a more expensive version seems dumb to me. I'm sure people will buy it though, just like i'm sure some people bought that Capcom logo fightstick. Honestly i'd rather have the fightstick.

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#4 Posted by Gundato (333 posts) -

Ignoring the price (jesus christ...):

Do people who know more about the hardware and math behind this know if external trackers and inside-out tracking are fundamentally conflicting? Valve are selling this as multiple components but you at least need HMD, Controllers, and one tower.

It seems like a no brainer to have inside-out on the HMD so that people can upgrade. Those who want an entry level experience (or live in an apartment) can buy just the HMD and controllers. The next tier is HMD+one tower. And the top end folk will have two (or more?) towers for the best possible tracking.

Which makes me guess there might be some issue with the tech conflicting.

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#5 Posted by OurSin_360 (6201 posts) -

Is vr still popular enough for a price like that to work? Seems like the novelty has worn off a long time ago.

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#6 Edited by Rorie (5881 posts) -

Is vr still popular enough for a price like that to work? Seems like the novelty has worn off a long time ago.

I mean, I have a friend who was big into VR when it came out, had people over to try it out, always jacked someone in when there were parties at his place, etc. Barely seen the things in the last year or so. Small sample size, obviously, but I don't see many people jazzed about it at work, either. I would like to think that Valve knows their business and wants to go forward because they think this will be good for them, but who knows.

I mean, if they announce HL3 as an Index exclusive and it's fucking rad, all bets are off.

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#7 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4502 posts) -

For a market that is about to lose the mainstream, coming out with a high-end VR device for the VR evangelicals seems like a smart move. We still need those gifs of amazing VR content that makes the general audience get truly wowed. And if people are getting excited again, the more affordable consumer-grade devices will follow. Especially hard to gauge whether the people that dipped their toes into the relatively affordable VR already are willing to buy a new system or rather stick with what they have. Or have been turned off on the idea all together. On the other hand, if you're a hardcore VR fan, you probably want to buy the best VR headset that's out there.

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#8 Edited by Casepb (753 posts) -

So this thing is clearly targeting the existing VR audience. Those that have a Rift or Vive and want something even fancier. The "mainstream" headsets are about to start rolling out with the Oculus Quest as the first contender. Then eventually the Vive Cosmos will be out, thinking the end of this year.

With that said I don't see the Index being nearly as popular as the Rift or even the Vive mainly due to the price. Steam does have a shit ton of VR games though. I think Beat Saber and maybe Superhot are really the only massively popular ones though. I'm honestly just curious to see how well the Quest sells. I will eventually be getting one myself even though I already have a Rift. They just announced that the Quest will be out on May 21st.

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#9 Edited by Seikenfreak (1541 posts) -

I'm considering it. I am way more interested in the "High Performance" segment of VR than all that cheaper, no frills stuff.

I bought a Rift and a Vive when they were released and eventually sold the Vive because I hardly used it and I think something new was coming down the pipeline so I wanted to sell it before there was something better and it's value dropped? And I wanted the money? This was some years ago though.

I bought the Rift Touch controllers recently but still haven't taken them out of the box. I mostly just use the Rift for playing racing sims in VR and it's worth every dime just for that.

So since I sold my Vive a long time ago, I guess that means I'd have to try and buy just the headset and the sensors. I also completely rearranged my bedroom since selling the Vive (which I had setup in the downstairs living room before) so I could potentially use a room scale setup in my bedroom.

We'll see. As I said, I want VR for cockpit games like Project Cars, Dirt Rally, Assetto Corsa, Elite Dangerous, and maybe I'll try a DCS flight sim in the future, but even for just that it's worth the money. Higher fidelity, reduced screen door effect, less motion blur and light rays, better field of view, etc are what I'm looking for in a better VR headset.

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#10 Posted by Bollard (8185 posts) -

This whole thing just seems poorly timed from Valve. It's too expensive, lacking features that people expect from the newer VR headsets and they've yet to make a good case for it to me.

The fact they expect you to put up the silly lighthouses still - and the fact it's still tethered - are massive hurdles that mean I have no interest in this at all. If I wanted high-end I'd buy one of the Vive Pros with the wireless adapter, and this thing doesn't even do Foeveated Rendering right? Plus, if I wanted convenience I'd go for one of the new Oculus headsets with inside out tracking (or the completely self contained one for the freedom of wires too).

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#11 Posted by BradBrains (2274 posts) -

I just cant see this being for the mainstream.

PSVR has an appeal because it has decent support for a pricetag around 300 dollars. I just dont know how many people are gonna pay a grand for this especially when the majority of people who are curious about VR probably already purchased something else

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#12 Posted by TheRealTurk (578 posts) -

If the Index is $1000, how much is the Table of Contents?

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#13 Posted by dudeglove (13780 posts) -

Do... do people at Bellevue know how much everyday life is?

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#14 Posted by elko84 (1384 posts) -

If the Index is $1000, how much is the Table of Contents?

I see what you did there.

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#15 Posted by mikewhy (346 posts) -

Not that I think it's particularly cheap, but the reports on pricing have been awful.

1x headset is $499.

2x controllers are $279.

1x base station is $149.

Headset, 2x controllers, and 2x base stations is $999 (you save ~$75). That's to go from 0 to VR instantly.

Headset and 2x controllers is $749 (you save ~$25). So if you already have base stations from a Vive, you're good to go.

If you previously own a Vive, you can even use those controllers. But I'm guessing the games released alongside the Index will be better with the new controllers.

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#16 Posted by wardcleaver (331 posts) -

If the Index is $1000, how much is the Table of Contents?

Yes, I was also wondering about the bibliography.

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#17 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2936 posts) -

Is vr still popular enough for a price like that to work? Seems like the novelty has worn off a long time ago.

It seems like it's going the way of 3D. Just a temporary novelty. Like who hell actually wore the glasses while watching their TV?

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#18 Posted by topgunmv (46 posts) -

Valve have already said they're specifically targeting the high end while leaving entry level to other companies.

I'm definitely more interested in the index than something like the rift s which is a side grade over my original rift.

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