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Valve Index virtual reality headset announced, to take on Oculus, Sony – CNET

Valve's new headset was quietly announced Friday.


Valve is known for making hit shooting games like Half-Life and Portal, and the battle battle strategy game Dota 2. It runs the popular Steam online game store. It's pioneered new virtual reality technology. 

Now, Valve appears to be building a headset too.

The Bellevue, Washington game maker quietly posted an image to its website Friday showing what appears to be a new VR headset called the Valve Index. The site's light on details, other than to give a slight profile shot of the device, and the promise of more information in May. "Upgrade your experience," the image says.

A Valve spokesman declined to give more details. "We will have more info soon," he said.

The news of Valve's new headset may come as a surprise. Until now, it appeared Valve was focused on helping its partner HTC build its HTC's $499 Vive headsets. Valve, meanwhile, was known for incubating technology like lighthouse sensors that help power Vive headsets. It's also created prototypes like the knuckles controllers that promise to give people new, richer ways to control things with their hands in virtual worlds.

If Valve were to begin selling VR headsets, it would not just be competing with the likes of HTC, but also Facebook's Oculus VR division, upcoming $399 Oculus Rift S would likely compete against Valve's Index for displaying intricately detailed and complex video games and VR worlds. It would also be going up against Sony, which offers its PlayStation VR, which is powered by a separately sold PlayStation 4 video game console.

First published March 29 at 8:16 p.m. PT.
Update March 30 at 7:38 a.m. PT: Adds Valve comment.

Sony PlayStation VR

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