Valve Index Pre-orders Start May 1st, Headset and Bundle Price Confirmed

Valve Index, the company’s high-end VR headset, is now available for pre-order. The headset alone starts at $500 while the all-in Index package is priced at $1,000—a steep price for sure, but if you’re already in the Vive hardware ecosystem, it isn’t as bad as it may seem.

Update (5:30 PM ET): Valve has sold out of their two main bundles, the full VR kit for $1,000 and the $500 headset. The full VR kit is back ordered with a shipping date of on or before August 31st, while the headset alone is said to ship on or before July 31st.

Update (1:00 PM ET): The company has officially opened pre-orderd for all Index bundles and accessories. Valve maintains that shipping on all items is slated for June 28th.

The original article announcing pre-order availability and pricing follows below:

Original Article (April 30th, 2019): The full $1,000 Index VR kit includes the Index headset, the Index controllers (AKA Knuckles), and two SteamVR 2.0 base stations—everything you need to jump into high-end VR (minus a capable computer).

Read our full hands-on with Valve Index

You’ll also be able to pre-order everything separately that comes in the full VR kit, including the headset itself, the controllers, SteamVR 2.0 base stations, and other accessories like extra facial interfaces and cables. Until now, users were unable to purchase SteamVR 2.0 base stations separately, as HTC doesn’t sell them despite offering them as a part of their $1,400 HTC Vive Pro full VR kit.

Image courtesy Valve

The company says that Index will see a “limited initial release” in the US and EU first, with the intention of ramping up quantities based on demand. The headset’s box shows the contents labeled in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese, pointing to an upcoming launch in Japan at the very least.

Here’s a breakdown of the pricing for all bundles and accessories across the US, Eurozone, UK, and Poland:

USD EUR GBP PLN
Full VR Kit $999 €1,079 £919 zł 4,669
Index & Controller Kit $749 €799 £689 zł 3,499
Index Headset $499 €539 £459 zł 2,339
Controllers (Pair) $279 €299 £259 zł 1,309
Base Station (Single) $149 €159 £139 zł 699
Face gaskets (2) $40 €43 £37 zł 189
Index Virtual Link Type-C Cable $40 €43 £37 zł 189

 

Note: Index is backwards compatible with the SteamVR 1.0 base stations that shipped with the original HTC Vive. If you already own a Vive, you can conceivably purchase the $750 headset and controller bundle and start playing. Take note that only the same version of base stations can work together. Different base station versions (1.0 & 2.0) are not interchangeable, and cannot be paired together.

If the sticker shock still has you reeling, you might take solace in Valve’s claim that Index is for “experienced, existing VR customers who want more and don’t want to wait,” a sharp counterpoint to Facebook’s move to offer a modestly upgraded Rift via the $400 Rift S. Furthermore, Valve prominently claims Index features the “best-in-class visuals and audio” in addition to “natural input, reliable tracking, and long term comfort.”

You can pre-order all of the components and bundles above here starting May 1st.

Index Headset Specs

  • Display: 1,440 × 1,600 dual LCD panels. Custom full-RGB LCD promises good fill-factor and minimal screen door effect, providing 50% more subpixels that OLED. Low persistence displays: 0.330ms
  • Framerate: 120Hz, full backwards compatibility with 90Hz, experimental 144Hz mode
  • Optics: Custom dual-element lens boasts increased sharpness, FOV 20 degrees larger than HTC Vive (estimated ~110 degrees) and large eyebox
  • Adjustablilty: Mechanical IPD adjustments, “eye relief” adjustments to let lenses sit as close as possible to the eye for max FOV
  • Audio: Nearfield off-ear speakers (speaker drivers, not headphone drivers) boast higher fidelity audio. No physical contact with ear aims for increased play-session length
  • Comfort: Reduced weight, high-quality fabrics and padding, geometry targeting “95% of adult heads”
  • Modability: Extensibility through “Frunk” USB expansion bay and stereo cameras. Stereo cameras don’t provide room or hand tracking, although Valve will be providing CAD models, specs and sample code to the maker community
  • Minimum Specs: Dual core CPU with hyperthreading, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD RX480
  • Recommended Specs: Quad core CPU or greater, NVIDIA GTX 1070 or greater
Image courtesy Valve

Index Controller

  • Open Hand Design: Allows direct actions such as pick up/drop, throw, grab, pinch, and squeeze
  • Finger tracking: full five-finger tracking using capacitive sensors
  • Sensors: 87 sensors per controller, including optical, motion, capacitive, and force sensors. Sensor fusion determines user intent, Valve says
  • Comfort: Dynamic sensor/pad assignment to accommodate different hand sizes. Adjustable strap for open hand interactions. Anti-microbial strap fabric
  • Compatibility: Backwards compatible with all SteamVR games
  • Button Configuration: A/B & X/Y buttons, thumbstick, trigger, and ‘track button’ – combination trackpad and force enabled button for various functions
  • Battery/Charging: Charged via USB C, 900mA fast charging, 1100mAH capacity Li-Ion. Polymer battery promises 7+ hours of battery life

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Check out our full hands-on with Valve Index to learn all about what makes the company’s enthusiast-level headset tick.


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