Valve might have a second VR headset in growth with a standalone design much like what’s at the moment provided by Fb’s lineup of Oculus Quest headsets. Proof for the brand new headset was dropped at mild by YouTuber Brad Lynch. He discovered a number of references in Valve’s SteamVR code to a tool codenamed “Deckard” which he then cross-referenced in opposition to the corporate’s current patent purposes.
Ars Technica subsequently confirmed with its personal sources that a lot of Lynch’s findings are correct, and that Valve does have a second headset prototype in growth. In distinction with the corporate’s first VR headset, the Valve Index, launched in 2019, the brand new headset has a inbuilt processor that would enable it to work with out being tethered to a PC by a cable. Valve additionally reportedly has ambitions for it to have the ability to monitor motion without having exterior base stations (aka “inside-out” monitoring).
Ars’ claims broadly line up with the code references Lynch outlines in his video. These embrace use of the time period “standalone” and a code string that implies it might need some inner processing energy, which might enable it to perform independently from an exterior PC. There are additionally references that recommend the brand new headset might need some measure of wi-fi connectivity, probably through Wi-Fi. Ars additionally studies that particulars about up to date optics are additionally correct, which might enable the headset’s lenses to be positioned nearer to the person’s face for higher consolation and efficiency.
Reviews of a standalone headset are attention-grabbing in mild of the announcement of Valve’s handheld Steam Deck console, which runs on a semi-custom AMD processor. A Valve FAQ has made it clear that the present console is “not optimized” for VR, however in an interview the corporate expressed an curiosity in in the future utilizing the processor in a standalone VR headset.
“We’re not able to say something about [using the AMD processor in a VR headset],” Valve’s Greg Coomer advised The Verge in a recent Steam Deck interview, “however it could run effectively in that setting, with the TDP essential… it’s very related to us and our future plans.”
After all, Valve creating one thing internally is not any assure it’ll ever see a industrial launch. Ars factors in direction of the corporate’s famous history of engaged on tasks internally, solely to kill them off. However the truth that the corporate has already launched one VR headset, and is on the cusp of releasing its personal standalone handheld console, has us hopeful that Deckard would possibly in the future make it to market.