Valve Index officially revealed, pre-orders kick off May 1 and ships between June 28-July 1

By Stephany Nunneley, Tuesday, 30 April 2019 19:10 GMT

Valve Index has been officially unveiled and the VR headset will be available for pre-order tomorrow, May 1.

After the first tease surfaced in March, Valve announced its new VR headset along with specs and a July 1 release date.

The devices revealed today include the Index HMD headset, Controller, and 2.0 Base Stations.

Information on each piece of hardware can be found below along with pricing.

Valve Index HMD headset, Controllers, Base Station features

Index HMD Features

  • Optimized pixel layout: Dual 1440×1600 RGB LCDs provide 50% more subpixels than OLED, resulting in greater sharpness for the same rendering cost.Fill-factor is three times better than OLED, greatly reducing “screen door” effect.
  • Higher frame rates: Runs at 120Hz with full back-compatibility to 90Hz and features an experimental 144Hz mode.
  • Extremely low persistence:  Displays have a reduced illumination period of 0.330ms to 0.530ms (framerate dependent), allowing imagery to remain sharp when your head is in motion or when standing still. This is a 5x improvement over first-generation PC VR HMDs.
  • General: Optimized for FOV (20° more FOV than the HTC Vive); dual-element lens; canted optics.
  • Audio: Ultra-nearfield flat panel speakers (full-frequency 180-degree dispersion pattern); off-ear immersion; long-session comfort with adjustable speaker position.

System Requirements

  • OS Windows 10, SteamOS, Linux
  • RAM 8 GB+
  • GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970+ or AMD RX480+Available DisplayPort required, HDMI not supported
  • CPU Dual Corewith hyperthreading, or better
  • USB 3.0+for headset cameras

Tech/Specs

Displays

  • Dual 1440 x 1600
  • LCDs Full RGB per pixel
  • Ultra-low persistence global backlight illumination (0.330ms at 144Hz)

Framerate

  • 80/90/120/144Hz

Optics

  • Double element, canted lens design

Field of View (FOV)

  • Optimized eye relief adjustment allows a typical user experience 20º more than the HTC Vive

Inter-pupillary Distance (IPD)

  • 58mm – 70mm range physical adjustment

Ergonomic Adjustments

  • Head size
  • Eye relief (FOV)
  • IPD
  • Speaker positions
  • Rear cradle adapter included

Connections

  • 5m tether
  • 1m breakaway trident connector
  • USB 3.0
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • 12V power

Tracking

  • SteamVR 2.0 sensors
  • Compatible with SteamVR 1.0 and 2.0 base stations

Speakers

  • Built-in Audio
    • 37.5mm off-ear Balanced Mode Radiators (BMR)
  • Frequency response
    • 40Hz – 24KHz
  • Impedance
    • 6 Ohm
  • SPL
    • 98.96 dBSPL at 1cm.
  • Aux Headphone Out
    • 3.5mm

Microphone

  • Dual Microphone Array
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 24kHz,
  • Sensitivity: -25dBFS/Pa @ 1kHz

Cameras

  • Stereo 960 x 960 pixel
  • Global shutter
  • RGB (Bayer)

Valve Index Controllers

The controllers use 87 sensors to track hand position, finger position, motion, and pressure to determine user intent. A quick breakdown follows alongside the sepcs.

Features

  • Sensor fusion
  • Throwing
  • Low-latency finger tracking
  • Open-hand interactions
  • Long-term comfort
  • Standard gaming inputs
  • Squeeze-ability
  • Track button

Tech/Specs

Inputs

  • A Button
  • B Button
  • System Button
  • Trigger
  • Thumbstick
  • Track Button with Force Sensor
  • Grip Force Sensor
  • Finger Tracking, IMU

General

  • Ergonomics 
  • Connections – USB-C, 2.4GHz Wireless
  • Haptics – HD LRA
  • Battery Life – 7+ hours
  • Charging – 900mA fast charging, 1100mAh capacity Li-Ion polymer battery
  • Tracking – SteamVR 2.0 sensors, compatible with SteamVR 1.0 and 2.0 Base Stations

Valve Index 2.0 Base Stations

Features

  • Increased range and FOV – Now with two base stations allowing a 400% larger play space.
  • Expandable – Add a third base station to cover a tricky spot in your room. Or add a fourth to expand play area up to 10×10 meters.
  • Sub-millimeter resolution – To capture every gesture.
  • Laser tracking –  Fixed lasers sweep 100 times a second to track photonic sensors on the headset and controllers.
  • More compatible – Now with a single coded laser sweep and no omnidirectional blinker. Stations co-exist with other IR devices.

Compatibility Note: Index Base Stations are only compatible with 2.0 tracking capable hardware. This currently includes Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro hardware.

Tech/specs

  • Range – 7m
  • FOV – 160º x 115º
  • Expandability – Up to four base stations, up 10m x 10m playspace
  • Power – 12V, compatible with existing HTC Vive power supply

Pricing and Packages

Valve Index VR kit ($999)

  • Ships by June 28
  • Includes:  Headset, Controllers, and two Base Stations
  •  Requires a PC.

Valve Index Headset and Controllers ($749)

  • For those who already have a Base Station
  • Ships by Jun 28
  • Includes: Headset and Controllers
  • Requires PC (and base station)

Valve Index Headset – standalone ($499)

  • Ships by Jun 28
  • Includes: Headset
  • Requires Controllers, Base Stations, and PC

Valve Index Controllers ($279)

  • Ships by Jun 28
  • Includes: two Controllers
  • Requires Vive, Vive Pro, or Valve Index Headset, Base Stations, and PC

Valve Index 2.0 Base Station ($149)

  •  Ships by Jun 28
  • Includes: one Base Station
  • Requires Vive Pro or Valve Index Headset, Controllers, and PC

Valve said the headset and controllers are compatible with all Steam VR games, and offered individually as well as in various combinations.

Pre-orders begin tomorrow, May 1, for the initial, limited-quantity launch within the US and Europe. These units are targeted to begin shipping no later than July 1, according to the press release. But, June 28 is the target date.

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