Valve's VR headset is called Index, and it's coming soon

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Without any sort of announcement, a teaser for the Valve Index has appeared on Steam (opens in new tab). It is clearly Valve's entry in the battle for the best VR headset title.

The only text in the teaser reads "Upgrade your experience" and "May 2019," so presumably that's when the Index will go on sale, given that the word "sale" is in the URL.

(A point of clarification: The HTC Vive is commonly considered 'Valve's headset' because it's the primary SteamVR headset, but it's made by HTC. Any company can produce SteamVR-compatible gear, and the idea was that multiple manufacturers would create a variety of headsets for the platform. That hasn't yet manifested, with Valve's own Index being the first big Vive competitor to appear. Valve is also working on some new SteamVR controllers, and other companies can also do that.)

Valve's headset has been rumored for a while, and became just about a sure thing when convincing-looking images leaked last November (opens in new tab). Before that, in March of last year, Gabe Newell said he was jealous of Nintendo's ability to produce both hardware and games, which was a strong hint. Valve also announced in 2017 that it's developing three new VR games, and presumably one or more will be tied to the Index's release.

Additionally, SteamDB took note of the Steam database listing earlier this year, and found the logo (opens in new tab) in a trademark filing before we knew what it referred to:

Even though it was heavily rumored, I'm a little surprised we're seeing Valve's headset so soon. Over the past several years, Valve seemed to be flirting with the idea of becoming a hardware company, but not fully committing. With its own headset, it's taking a big step toward those Nintendo dreams. (Also, the "upgrade your experience" line is bold. I like it. Wonder how HTC feels, though?)

And yeah, we are aware that it's almost the First of April, but Valve tells us "it's real" and that there'll be "more news soon." (Also it'd be a bit weird to announce a VR headset that looks just like those leaked photos as a joke.)

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.