IT'S OFFICIAL. Valve Corporation - the company once known for making the most critically-acclaimed PC game of all time, but now better associated with counting money from Steam sales - is getting back into the hardware game.
We say "back", because it already has the Steam Controller and discontinued Steam Link under its belt. But now it'll have a VR headset of its own, rather than having to share credit with HTC for the Vive.
There's really not too much to say just yet, mind. All we have to go by is a teaser image Steam labelled "Valve Index", but it's pretty clear that the company is either making its own VR product or is reviving those chunky View-Master toys from the 1960s. We'll know next month, apparently as the only text on the page reads "Upgrade your experience" and the date of "May 2019."
Other than that, there really is very little to go on. Ars Technica notes that if you jack up the contrast, six little dots become visible, which suggests camera tracking like on the Vive. That said, the two whacking great lenses on the outside point to some kind of inside-out tracking, which negates the need for external sensors, so who the hell knows?
Away from the teaser image, we're left looking at previous rumours. Back in November 2018, UploadVR suggested that an as-of-then unnamed Valve headset would feature a wide 135-degree field-of-view, which is a fair bit more than the 110-degrees of the Vive and Oculus Rift.
The same report suggested that Valve might launch it with a new Half-Life game - possibly a prequel. If it is indeed set before the events of Half-Life, then you can look forward to riding that tram to work before settling into a full day of pressing buttons, shaking test tubes and - as the original was released in 1998 - time wasting on ICQ and IRC. µ
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But it's unlikely to show up any time soon
Fit-bit off more than it can chew
Make it til' you fake it