Valve Index VR Available for Preorders but Costs a Small Fortune

by in General | May, 3rd 2019

It’s official! Valve Index VR Kit is the brand-new virtual reality device that aims to take the market by storm. There was a ton of fuss surrounding this device and now that we finally know more about it, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. Not because of its specifications, comfort or anything else on the technical side of things. Nope! I’m a bit disappointed regarding the Valve Index VR Kit price.

However, let’s not start off with the only real negative. After all, we’re talking about a powerful device here, one that will definitely put Oculus Rift and HTC Vive at great risk. With its release, the situation in the VR market is becoming much more complicated. A niche that was dominated by Oculus and Vive is now getting a proper competitor. Sure, there were several headsets based on the Windows Mixed Reality platform, but they just weren’t on par with Oculus and HTC. At least when it comes to gaming.

So, what’s there to be said about the brand-new Valve index VR Kit? Is it going to fulfill everyone’s expectations or become just another flop in the VR industry? Let’s take a closer look and see for ourselves!


First things first – Valve Index VR brings forth several improvements that could deliver better immersion than most of its competitors. It sports two LCD displays with 1440×1600 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and an experimental mode upping it to 144Hz. Combine that with a better field of view and complete annihilation of the annoying screen door effect. The audio is supposedly better too. Valve Index VR features high-quality sound through headphones that don’t even have to be directly leaning on your ears.

Comfort is a major factor here. Luckily, Valve’s Index VR tackles it in a brilliant way. It’s comfortable and lighter than any other VR headset out there. This eliminates head strain and allows users to enjoy immersive VR experiences for hours on end.

Lastly, Valve Index VR comes with brand-new knuckle controllers. Each of them sports 87 onboard sensors and is capable of following all five fingers on both hands. Their battery lasts up to seven hours of gameplay and supports quick charging via provided USB C cable.

Valve Index VR Kit Price – Spoiler: It’s Way Too High

The starting Valve Index VR Kit price is $499. However, this will only get you the headset itself. You won’t get the controllers nor the base stations. You’ll have to splash out $279 for the controllers and $149 for a single base station. Keep in mind that you’ll need to for the system to work properly.

Early Index Model

An early prototype of the Index

The total sum for the headset, two controllers and two base stations amounts to $1,076. If you were to buy them all separately, that is. Luckily, Lord Gaben, bless his soul, has bundled everything together for just $999. Yep, the full Valve Index VR Kit price amounts to just $999.

Sarcasm aside, such a huge price took everyone by surprise. I still can’t say for certain whether or not I’m seeing straight. $999 for a VR headset that doesn’t even have a single game to fulfill the full potential of its controllers. Unless… Unless Valve surprises us all once again and includes Half-Life 3 in the bundle. Oh, wouldn’t that be great, huh?

On top of all that, I should tell you that Valve Index VR is not an all in one VR headset. You know, like Oculus Quest. You’ll need a beefy machine to run AAA VR titles on it. We’re talking GTX 1070 or better alongside at least 8GB RAM and a solid quad-core CPU, preferably sporting hyperthreading. If you don’t have such a rig, I’m afraid those $1,000 won’t be the end of your wallet’s suffering…

Valve Index VR Release Date

The Valve Index VR Kit pre-order campaign started on May 1st. However, it’s already sold out (of course) and there’s no information on when it’s going to be available again. If you’re among the lucky ones who spent $1,000 for the promising new VR headset, you can expect it at your doorstep before July.

To put things into perspective, Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S are beginning shipping by the end of May. Also, they are much more affordable. The 64GB and 128GB versions of Quest are available for $399 and $499, respectively. Oculus Rift S, with new touch controllers, will go for $399, and it doesn’t need any external sensors to work properly.

Can Valve Index VR Kit Price Be Justified?

You can expect a bunch of comparison videos coming out in the weeks to come. Many YouTubers already got their hands on both devices and I’m sure they’ll have interesting things to say about them. Needless to say, the price is going to be a really important factor here. A deal breaker for many, that’s for sure. For the price of one Valve Index VR Kit (I’m talking full package here), you can buy Oculus Rift S, 128GB version of Oculus Quest (for mobile VR shenanigans) and still have extra $100 to spend on VR games.

That said, I just can’t see Valve Index VR Kit Price being justified anytime soon. However, take those words with a grain of salt since I might be wrong. We haven’t seen what Valve’s new headset is capable of in games built specifically for its capabilities. If its implementations (mainly those state-of-the-art touch controllers) bring a more immersive VR experience, perhaps we’ll all forget about the price. Don’t get me wrong, I highly doubt the Valve Index VR Kit can sweep us off our feet and deliver a totally new level of VR immersion. Enough of one to justify the insanely high price tag, at least. But then again, we’re talking about Valve here… and we all know what they’re capable of!

No Half-Life 3?

Many people thought Valve is going to release a brand-new Half-Life game (Half-Life 3 confirmed!!!) alongside their VR headset. If you were among them, I’m really sad to disappoint you, but there’s no sign of a new Half-Life game. At least for the time being.

While we can expect a potent SteamVR exclusive to follow in Valve Index VR’s footsteps by the time it starts shipping out, chances are slim that we’ll finally see the long-awaited sequel of one of the greatest Valve series of all time.

Be that as it is, I’m sure Valve will do a good job with whatever game(s) they end up releasing alongside Index VR Kit. An innovative platform such as this one heavily relies on a solid AAA title and we can rest assured Valve will take care of it. Will it be a fully-fledged game or just an immersive VR experience, I can’t tell with certainty. What I can tell is that it will definitely use everything Index VR Kit is capable of.


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