Today, Valve has revealed the details surrounding its upcoming venture into VR hardware, the Valve Index.
The Index is planned for launch later this year with initial, limited availability in the US and the EU, though Valve intends to increase shipments later based on demand. Pre-orders will open in May.
The full kit, which includes a base station, two Index controllers, and the headset itself, will cost $999. Individual pieces are compatible with HTC Vive headsets, controllers, and base stations. The headset alone will cost $499, the controllers alone are $279, and those who already own a base station can purchase the headset and controllers together for $749.
At a reveal event last week, Valve representatives said the Index's high cost (it's one of the most expensive headsets on the market) is due to the philosophy behind its development The Index is intended both as a high-fidelity, high-end headset for experienced VR users, and to remove hardware barriers for developers working in VR and increase the library of content available, rather than focusing on an affordable or low-barrier piece of equipment for users.
In terms of visual fidelity, the Valve index is a 120 Hz headset that's compatible both with 90 Hz and 144 Hz, though at the moment 144 Hz experiences are still experimental. The headset features dual 1440 by 1600 LCD panels, 0.330ms of persistence, and 50% visual fill factor - a feature that Valve claims will all but eliminate screen door effect - an improvement observed at the reveal event. And aside from just looking sharper, one major improvement brought by the Valve Index is text legibility - a perk also observable in demos at the reveal.