Valve may have a second VR headset in improvement with a standalone design just like what’s at present supplied by Fb’s lineup of Oculus Quest headsets. Proof for the brand new headset was delivered to 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 improvement. In distinction with the corporate’s first VR headset, the Valve Index, launched in 2019, the brand new headset has a in-built processor that might 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 observe motion with no need 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 inside processing energy, which may enable it to operate independently from an exterior PC. There are additionally references that counsel the brand new headset might need some measure of wi-fi connectivity, doubtlessly through Wi-Fi. Ars additionally experiences that particulars about up to date optics are additionally correct, which may enable the headset’s lenses to be positioned nearer to the consumer’s face for higher consolation and efficiency.
Studies 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 someday 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 informed The Verge in a current Steam Deck interview, “however it could run effectively in that surroundings, with the TDP mandatory… it’s very related to us and our future plans.”
In fact, Valve creating one thing internally isn’t any assure it’ll ever see a industrial launch. Ars factors in direction of the corporate’s well-known historical past 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 someday make it to market.