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Valve is allegedly working on a new VR headset after the Valve Index, or at least according to investigators who have discovered references to a new headset prototype within the SteamVR code. If the rumors are true, this new headset is a standalone that would work without a PC.
The information about this upcoming headset comes from VR YouTuber Brad Lynch, who reports that members of his community discovered multiple references to something codenamed “Deckard” in the SteamVR code. He then cross-referenced that name with Valve’s recent patents, and supposedly found several references to the headset having an internal processor and possibly antennas that will allow it to connect to WiFi, suggesting it’s a standalone headset.
The existence of a new Valve headset was later corroborated by insiders to Ars Technica, which claimed a new headset was being worked on by Valve, but is likely nowhere near a commercial release. Ars’ sources also suggest that Valve is working on some form of internal tracking so that future headsets won’t require base stations to work.
Valve already has an in-house VR headset, the Index, which sold out shortly before the release of Half-Life Alyx. So the idea that it’s making another one isn’t an outlandish one. Also, one of the biggest advantages of its most popular competition, the Oculus Quest 2, is that it doesn’t need to be tethered to a powerful PC in order to function. The description of Lynch’s evidence isn’t clear as to whether the headset will be truly standalone or still needs a PC but can be attached to it wirelessly.
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Given that Valve is shipping out the Steam Deck in a few months, it’s likely the company will focus on the success of that device before attempting to launch or reveal anything else. But given that the company is making a PC that can fit into a handheld device, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for them to produce a standalone headset.
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