Valve might release a virtual reality headset before it even announces Half-Life 3. The company shared an image on Steam for the so-called Valve Index on Friday, and it's been hush-hush about the device since.
Valve wasn't exactly forthcoming about what exactly the Valve Index is. The image depicts someone holding a fairly standard-looking VR headset, and the only other things on the page are two lines saying, "Upgrade your experience" and "May 2019." Gaben is obviously teasing us.
Releasing a Valve-branded headset makes sense. The company has worked with HTC on its Vive products, licensed its VR tech to other companies, and developed hardware like the Knuckles controllers. Steam is also one of the premier VR marketplaces.
Many PC gamers like Steam and many are probably familiar with the company's games, too, from classic titles like Half-Life to esports favorites like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. A lot of VR enthusiasts likely use SteamVR as well, making Valve a key part of the ecosystem.
The real questions about the Valve Index will revolve around the headset itself. Valve has dabbled with physical products before--see the Steam Controller and the recently discontinued Steam Link streaming device--but it's still new to working with hardware.
Hopefully, we'll learn more about the Valve Index sooner than later. In the meantime, we're going to take the May 2019 date with a pound of salt, partly because we're skeptical and partly because the company's more willing to make a VR headset than Half-Life 3.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.