Valve Working On A Standalone VR Headset To Compete With Oculus Quest 2

Valve could work on a continuation of the index, according to a new report. YouTuber Brad Lynch, who primarily focuses on virtual reality technology, has found evidence from patent applications and his own sources that Valve is working on a new standalone VR headset similar to the Oculus Quest.

The Valve Index was released back in 2019, and while it is widely considered to be one of the best VR setups available, it still requires massive investments in money and real estate thanks to its external sensors. The index also needs to be powered by a fairly high-end gaming PC, which only adds to the cost.

Thanks to internal sensors and built-in computing power, the Oculus Quest (and Quest 2) don’t require nearly as much technology with which they can play a limited selection of VR games on their own.

Related: Valve confirms that older builds of games will remain accessible on Steam

According to Lynch, Valve’s new headset is code-named “Deckard”. Like the Quest, it doesn’t require PC tether and comes with some sort of internal tracking and processing power, which drastically reduces the overall footprint compared to the index.

ArsTechnica has confirmed Lynch’s video with its own sources. They also found that the index’s development originally diverged from two VR prototypes – one with an internal processor like the Quest and one without. Valve couldn’t get the internal tracking and processing to work properly, so they decided to move on with what would later become the index. What Lynch is reporting could be Valve reviving its other abandoned prototype.

It should be noted, however, that Valve has a habit of internally prototyping things that will never see the light of day. The genesis of the Steam Deck is full of prototypes that never worked, so this latest Valve VR prototype may never see the light of day either.

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Sean Murray
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Sean, a freelance writer and contributor to The Gamer, is from Toronto, Canada. If you ask Sean what he likes, he will say, “Robots, Ninjas, Donuts – in that order.”

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