Valve ‘Deckard’ Standalone VR Headset In The Works

YouTuber Bradley Lynch discovered proof of a Valve standalone VR headset in SteamVR driver information, and Ars Technica says its sources affirm its existence.

Valve Index, the corporate’s $999 tethered PC VR equipment, has now been in the marketplace for greater than two years. It nonetheless has best-in-class monitoring and audio high quality however its show decision is decrease than each Fb’s $299 Oculus Quest 2 and HTC’s Vive Professional 2.

The brand new headset is reportedly codenamed “Deckard”, the surname of Blade Runner’s protagonist and a doable reference to Steam Deck.

Lynch says the Deckard codename was current in a Lighthouse (Valve’s positional monitoring know-how) driver file and a SteamVR enter driver. The enter driver apparently added references to “Deckard POC-A” in January of this 12 months and “Deckard POC-C” in June, with POC probably standing for Proof of Idea.

When requested final month by The Verge whether or not Steam Deck’s chip could possibly be utilized in a standalone VR headset, product designer Greg Coomer replied it “would run properly in that setting” and teased “it’s very related to us and our future plans”. Nonetheless, in July Valve cautioned the chip’s efficiency isn’t supposed for the acute calls for of VR.

Lynch discovered a “Standalone System Layer” choice within the hidden ‘Valve Inside’ menu tab of SteamVR, in addition to a Linux-only binary referencing Deckard which he says tells the gadget in addition to a default utility. Do not forget that Steam Deck runs SteamOS, Valve’s distro of Linux. An extra reference to “Twin Monitoring Mode” suggests the headset may have inside-out monitoring whereas optionally supporting Lighthouse.

In March Valve filed a patent for a head strap referencing a wi-fi VR headset. Lynch notes that a driver known as VRLink was added to SteamVR this 12 months with code referencing a WiFi 6 driver, and this replace truly briefly broke some HTC Vive wi-fi setups. These findings suggests Deckard may have PC VR streaming performance much like Fb’s Oculus Air Hyperlink.

Valve 'Deckard' Standalone VR Headset In The Works 7

Ars Technica says its sources affirm Valve had at the very least two VR headset ideas within the works which diverged over time, with one requiring a PC and monitoring base stations and the opposite (presumably Deckard) working standalone with onboard compute like Oculus Quest. These sources additionally declare Valve initially struggled to get inside-out monitoring to match Oculus Perception’s high quality so introduced in an out of doors agency for assist.

Ars notes, nevertheless, that Valve has begun dedicating its manufacturing strains to the Steam Deck moveable console, and doubts the corporate has the capability to additionally produce a VR headset within the close to time period given the continued international chip scarcity. Ars additionally notes Valve has an extended historical past of various inside prototyping and killing tasks earlier than they’re introduced.

If Deckard actually is a standalone headset Valve intends to ship as a product, it might present much-needed competitors for Fb’s Oculus Quest line and will go head-to-head with the upcoming Quest Professional.

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