Valve Index Pre-orders Start May 1st, Headset and Bundle Price Confirmed

Valve today announced that pre-orders for Index, the company’s high-end, enthusiast-level VR headset, are set to arrive on May 1st, priced at $1,000 for the full Index VR kit and $500 for the headset alone. The exact launch date is still unclear, although the company says Index should start shipping by the end of June.

The full $1,000 Index VR kit includes the Index headset, the Index controllers (AKA Knuckles), and two SteamVR 2.0 base stations—everything you need to jump into high-end VR (minus a capable computer).

You’ll also be able to pre-order everything separately that comes in the full VR kit, including the headset itself, the controllers, SteamVR 2.0 base stations, and other accessories like extra facial interfaces and cables. Until now, users were unable to purchase SteamVR 2.0 base stations separately, as HTC doesn’t sell them despite offering them as a part of their $1,400 HTC Vive Pro full VR kit.

The company says that Index will see a “limited initial release” in the US and EU first, with the intention of ramping up quantities based on demand. The headset’s box shows the contents labeled in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese, pointing to an upcoming launch in Japan at the very least.

Here’s a breakdown of the pricing for all bundles and accessories across the US, Eurozone, UK, and Poland:

Full VR Kit$999€1,079£919zł 4,669
Index & Controller Kit$749€799£689zł 3,499
Index Headset$499€539£459zł 2,339
Controllers (Pair)$279€299£259zł 1,309
Base Station (Single)$149€159£139zł 699
Face gaskets (2)$40€43£37zł 189
Index Virtual Link Type-C Cable$40€43£37zł 189

Note: Index is backwards compatible with the SteamVR 1.0 base stations that shipped with the original HTC Vive. If you already own a Vive, you can conceivably purchase the $750 headset and controller bundle and start playing. Take note that only the same version of base stations can work together. Different base station versions (1.0 & 2.0) are not interchangeable, and cannot be paired together.

If the sticker shock still has you reeling, you might take solace in Valve’s claim that Index is for “experienced, existing VR customers who want more and don’t want to wait,” a sharp counterpoint to Facebook’s move to offer a modestly upgraded Rift via the $400 Rift S. Furthermore, Valve prominently claims Index features the “best-in-class visuals and audio” in addition to “natural input, reliable tracking, and long term comfort.”

You can pre-order all of the components and bundles above here starting May 1st.

Index Headset Specs

  • Display: 1,440 × 1,600 dual LCD panels. Custom full-RGB LCD promises good fill-factor and minimal screen door effect, providing 50% more subpixels that OLED. Low persistence displays: 0.330ms
  • Framerate: 120Hz, full backwards compatibility with 90Hz, experimental 144Hz mode
  • Optics: Custom dual-element lens boasts increased sharpness, FOV 20 degrees larger than HTC Vive (estimated ~110 degrees) and large eyebox
  • Adjustablilty: Mechanical IPD adjustments, “eye relief” adjustments to let lenses sit as close as possible to the eye for max FOV
  • Audio: Nearfield off-ear speakers (speaker drivers, not headphone drivers) boast higher fidelity audio. No physical contact with ear aims for increased play-session length
  • Comfort: Reduced weight, high-quality fabrics and padding, geometry targeting “95% of adult heads”
  • Modability: Extensibility through “Frunk” USB expansion bay and stereo cameras. Stereo cameras don’t provide room or hand tracking, although Valve will be providing CAD models, specs and sample code to the maker community
  • Minimum Specs: Dual core CPU with hyperthreading, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD RX480
  • Recommended Specs: Quad core CPU or greater, NVIDIA RTX 1070 or greater

Index Controller

  • Open Hand Design: Allows direct actions such as pick up/drop, throw, grab, pinch, and squeeze
  • Finger tracking: full five-finger tracking using capacitive sensors
  • Sensors: 87 sensors per controller, including optical, motion, capacitive, and force sensors. Sensor fusion determines user intent, Valve says
  • Comfort: Dynamic sensor/pad assignment to accommodate different hand sizes. Adjustable strap for open hand interactions. Anti-microbial strap fabric
  • Compatiblity: Backwards compatible with all SteamVR games
  • Button Configuration: A/B & X/Y buttons, thumbstick, trigger, and ‘track button’ – combination trackpad and force enabled button for various functions
  • Battery/Charging: Charged via USB C, 900mA fast charging, 1100mAH capacity Li-Ion. Polymer battery promises 7+ hours of battery life

Check out our full hands-on with Valve Index to learn all about what makes the company’s enthusiast-level headset tick.

Source: Read Full Article