As if there weren’t enough VR headsets out there, the game maker Valve is throwing a hat into the ring. More to come in May.

Valve’s new headset was quietly announced Friday.


Valve is known for making hit shooting games like Half-Life and Portal, and the 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 is 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.

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

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

Originally published March 29, 8:16 p.m. PT.
Update, March 30: Adds Valve comment.


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