Valve Index VR Hardware Ships June 28 for $499-$999 - Niche Gamer Valve Index VR Hardware Ships June 28 for $499-$999 - Niche Gamer

Valve Index VR Hardware Ships June 28 for $499-$999

This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s tech or a story you want us to cover!

Valve has fully unveiled their new Valve Index virtual reality hardware.

The new set of virtual reality technology will ship by June 28th, with a suggested MSRP of $999.99 for the entire setup, or $499 for just the headset. Here’s some more beauty shots:

Here’s a rundown on the new hardware:

Upgrade your experience.

Valve Index is high-fidelity virtual reality.

Headset – Superior displays and optics, off-ear audio, and adjustable comfort.

Fidelity first – We’ve pushed visual, audio, and ergonomic technologies to create the best-in-class VR experience.

  • High Fidelity Visuals – Visual clarity isn’t just about panel resolution. Multiple attributes contribute to how clearly and comfortably you see details in VR.
    • Optimized pixel layout – The headset’s dual 1440×1600 RGB LCDs provide 50% more subpixels than OLED, resulting in greater sharpness for the same rendering cost. In addition, the fill-factor is three times better than OLED, greatly reducing “screen door” effect.
    • Higher frame rates – The Valve Index Headset runs at 120Hz with full back-compatibility to 90Hz, as well as an experimental 144Hz mode. Higher framerates improve realism and optical comfort, allowing longer and more comfortable play sessions.
    • Extremely low persistence – Valve Index displays have a reduced illumination period of 0.330ms to 0.530ms (framerate dependent), allowing imagery to remain just as sharp when your head is in motion as when you’re standing still. This is a 5x improvement over first-generation PC VR HMDs.
  • See more than ever before
    • Optimized for FOV – The best way to improve field of view is to position the optics as close as possible to the eyes. Physically adjustable IPD (distance between eyes) and eye relief (distance from lens to eye) lets you optimize the field of view for your face. With these features, as well as the dual-element lens and canted optics, this headset provides 20° more FOV than the HTC Vive for typical users.
    • Dual-element lens – The custom lenses built into the Valve Index Headset maximize field of view without sacrificing edge-to-edge clarity. High geometric stability allows you to look around the scene by moving your eyes (not just your head) with minimal shape distortion.
    • Canted optics – Instead of a mount perpendicular to the user’s eyes, the headset’s displays cant outward by 5 degrees. This improves outer FOV while balancing the inner FOV.
  • Best-in-class audio
    • Ultra-nearfield flat panel speakers – The composite honeycomb-panel speaker drivers in the Valve Index provide their full-frequency range across a nearly 180-degree dispersion pattern. This allows us to accommodate the widest possible diversity of ear and head shapes without sacrificing sound quality.
    • Off-ear immersion – Designed to provide a more natural way to experience audio, the Valve Index speakers do not touch the ears, so the sound interacts with the geometry of the outer ear and the head. With off-ear immersion, audio feels like it comes from the environment around you rather than from inside your head.
    • Long-session comfort – No physical contact means cooler temperatures and a huge improvement in comfort, no matter how long you play. Each speaker’s position is also adjustable and can be moved to the audio sweet-spot for all heads.
  • Comfort for everyone – Ergonomics designed for all heads and faces.
    • Adjustments for every head – You can adjust Valve Index for your head size, face angle, and ear position. Then fine-tune your visual experience with IPD and eye relief adjustments.
    • Antimicrobial fabrics – The soft surfaces that touch your head and face are made with high-quality, woven antimicrobial fabric, which is soft on the skin and easy to clean. Ergonomically designed padding means pressure is evenly and comfortably distributed.
    • Quick-swap face pads – The face gasket for this headset is replaceable with a magnetic interface for easy cleaning and swapping. We encourage after-market mods and solutions, and will soon be providing the specifications for these face pads. 

Here’s a breakdown of the technical specifications on the hardware:

  • 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
  • Audio – Built-in: 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)
Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.