Valve Index VR Headset Cleared For June Launch, Preorders Open May 1st

Valve Index
Valve is launching its own virtual reality headset called Index, presumably to go up against models like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (and Vive Pro). When exactly users will be able to order one has not been known, up until now—preorders for the Index will open on May 1, 2019, followed by a retail launch about a month and a half later.

This is a big launch for Valve, though whether it will be successful depends on its ability to execute, pricing, and the overall interest in VR. Valve's advantage is that it fields the most popular digital distribution platform for games, a little storefront you may have heard of called Steam. However, that did not help much with Valve's failed Steam Machine initiative.
We don't know a ton about the Index headset yet, though thanks to Twitter post by Wario64, we know a little bit more today than we did when Index was first unveiled. Wario64 found a Steam store listing for the headset and snapped a couple of screenshots in case Valve ended up taking it down, which it did. The listing laid out the following hardware specifications:
  • Headset
  • Integrated Headphones
  • Tether with DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0 Connections
  • Power Adapter
  • Regionalized Power Adapter Plug(s)
  • 2 Face Gaskets (narrow and wide)
  • Cleaning Cloth
Valve Index
Source: Valve via Twitter/Wario64

This is why I mentioned the Rift and Vive/Vive Pro headsets earlier—as a tethered solution, the Index will pull computing muscle from a PC, as opposed to baking the hardware inside the headset like the Oculus Go and Vive Focus.

Here's a look at the system requirements...

Valve Index Requirements
Source: Valve via Twitter/Wario64

Valve confirmed to Road to VR that the snapshot of the Steam page is accurate, though not comprehensive. The company also confirmed that it is targeting May 1 for a full reveal, with preorder availability on that day. Though the listing points to a June 15 release, that could change—Valve is targeting sometime in June, but an exact release date has not been confirmed.

The company will also sell "Valve Index Controllers" alongside the headset. Previously called Knuckles, it's not clear if Valve will offer any kind of special price when bundling them with the Index headset.