It’s been four years since Valve took the VR industry by storm with the launch of Valve Index. While still one of the best PCVR headsets, competitors have continued to improve their designs whilst Valve has stayed quiet. However, Valve certainly isn’t done with the technology, restating that “we’re still working on VR”,
Valve staff Yazan Aldehayyat (hardware engineer) and Lawrence Yang (product designer) recently spoke with Tested’s Norman Chan. During the discussion which focused on the new Steam Deck OLED, Chan inquired how its development could aid VR.
“A lot of it,” replied Yang. “Working with an APU, with miniaturization of computers. We don’t have anything to announce today in terms of VR other than that we are still working on VR and we’re still pushing forward on it. But just like Steam Deck is a result of learning a bunch of stuff from Steam Controller and Steam Link and VR, future products will continue to learn from everything we’ve done with Steam Deck as well.”
Valve Index 2.0
Naturally, they didn’t reveal any news regarding a Valve Index replacement – current rumours suggest it’s called Valve Deckard. But they did continue to hint at how the Steam Deck and VR teams were closely linked.
“Obviously there is a lot of overlap, technology pieces that we can reuse,” says Aldehayyat. “Wireless streaming for example is very applicable to VR. That benefited Steam Deck as well, improving the wireless streaming experience. But also just establishing relationships with parts suppliers and other hardware partners. The Steam Deck team and the VR team, we work together, so there’s a lot of inoculation of ideas and parts and technologies.”
What you have to remember is that Valve has been involved in VR for a significant amount of time. Prior to Index, the company collaborated with HTC Vive, helping to create the tracking system – the lighthouse base stations – which is still used to this day. At the same time, SteamVR was created, providing one of the most robust VR ecosystems around. This was recently updated, seeing the long overdue SteamVR 2.0 arrive.
And let’s not forget about 2020s Half-Life: Alyx, still one of the best VR games around. Valve is known not to rush things so it could still be some time before an Index replacement arrives. When that does happen, it seems a close synergy with Steam Deck is highly likely.
Are you looking forward to Valve’s next VR offering? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.