Valve might be known for its games and the Steam store, but in the past few years they’ve been doubling down on the idea of virtual reality. And while they did help create the HTC Vive, they have now released their own VR headset named Valve Index. Let’s take a quick look if the Valve Index is worth buying.
What is Valve Index?
As the name suggests, this is a VR headset created solely by Valve. Conveniently, the unit does work with the previous base stations from Vive, or you can buy the Base Stations 2.0 which bring in even better accuracy and tracking using SteamVR tracking technology.
What kind of features can we expect?
Though the Index has cameras, they are not created for inside out tracking like WMR headsets. These are mostly suitable for developers to experiment and create new experiences. You do have adjustable lenses, these are increasing the field of view while also keeping your focus on the edge and allowing you to balance out the field of view
The Valve Index also has headphones. Their approach is distinct because they have off-ear immersion. But they also bring you the sound on the outside of your headphones a little bit. The Valve Index also has a headstrap, it’s created from high-quality materials and you will be quite impressed with its build quality for the most part. They did include a removable face casket which is easy to clean, but that also means third parties can customize those face caskets as they see fit.
Controllers are quite interesting. These are knuckle controllers and they offer you a perfect grip. The focus here is on complete immersion, so these controllers are designed as an extension for your hands.
What kind of hardware do you need?
The minimum requirements are:
OS: Windows 10, Steam OS, Linux
Processor: Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
Memory: 8 GB RAM+
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD RX480
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Additional Notes: Available DisplayPort (Version 1.2) and USB (2.0+) Port
Like all VR units, you will have a much better experience if you own a state of the art graphics card and a quad-core processor. It’s important to note that the product will adapt to your specs to provide the best possible experience and results.
You can buy the full VR Kit with the headset, controllers and base stations, but you can also acquire every part individually or in smaller packages. The complete VR kit is $1000, the headset and controllers are $750 and the headset itself is $500. If this is your first headset we suggest picking up the entire kit. You can go to Steam to purchase. For international shipping, you could try Amazon.
As you can see, the Valve Index is quite an extraordinary piece of engineering. The prices might be a bit high, but there’s definitely a lot of value and quality for the money. This is more expensive than Vive and the Oculus Rift S, but it also seems to deliver even more immersion, so it does seem like the valve index is worth buying.