Monday afternoon, Valve briefly posted and almost immediately took down a series of work-in-progress Steam store pages for its recently revealed Valve Index VR headset. But that was enough time for Twitter’s Wario64, members of the ResetEra forums, and other sources to view the page online and capture the scant information available on the still-incomplete, lorem-ipsum-laden pages.
(Yes, we know today is April 1 and that all online information is inherently suspect today. But if the brief store postings apparently seen by multiple independent sources were a joke, they are an incredibly subtle one).
The most interesting bit from the posting is the apparent front-on view of the headset itself, which show’s a set of flip-up, over-ear headphones hanging down from either side. That style of integrated headphones was a big distinguishing features on the Oculus Rift, but has been removed from the upcoming Rift S in favor of subtle near-ear speakers in the headband.
The Index photo also gives a clearer look at the two front-facing cameras on the outside of the device, presumably allowing for some sort of stereoscopic “real-world” augmented reality view. The store listing, meanwhile, also includes mention of “two face gaskets (narrow and wide),” presumably to accommodate differently sized faces.
The numbers and positioning of the cameras on the front of the Index suggest it might not use the kind of inside-out tracking available on the Rift S and many Windows Mixed Reality headsets. A separate Steam store listing for a “Valve Index Base Station” (listed as a “SteamVR 2.0 Base Station” in the information section) also suggests it will use the same tracking setup as the HTC Vive.
The Valve Index page also linked to an image-free Store page for the Steam Index controllers. Those controllers are listed as required but not included in the headset’s apparent packaging, which leaves the door open for existing HTC Vive controllers to perhaps work with the new headset. Even if that’s so, you may want to upgrade anyway if the Index controllers resemble Valve’s hand-freeing Knuckles prototypes
For the brief time it was up, the Valve Index listing mentioned June 15 as the day we can begin to “experience the infinite virtual worlds of Valve Index.” While that’s definitely subject to change, given the rough nature of everything on the pages, we’re still happy to get a little additional glimpse into Valve’s apparent hardware plans. Valve said it plans to officially reveal more information next month.