December 2, 2022
  • December 2, 2022

Valve’s next Index VR headset would be a standalone unit

By on September 29, 2021 0


A dataminer has uncovered information that may suggest that the successor to the Valve Index will be a stand-alone unit.

YouTuber Brad Lynch posted a video explaining how he thinks the device, which a driver file appears to refer to by the codename “Deckard”, will be able to be used on its own without connecting it to a PC, similar to the Oculus Quest .

One folder called VRLink includes a DLL file that contains “a complete library of things related to a driver or a Wi-Fi device,” according to Lynch. After researching the model, Lynch discovered that it was a Wi-Fi 5 (Wireless-AC) device, although the DLL also contains a reference to a Wi-Fi 6 connection.

Lynch points out that this device typically has two antennas and mentions that earlier this year Valve patented a number of different headband designs. “In many of these designs, they conjure up the idea of ​​incorporating two antennas – one in the front and one in the back – for stand-alone use to connect wirelessly to a PC,” he explains. .

Lynch also notes that a hidden menu from Valve Internal recently added an option called Standalone System Layer, noting, “From what I understand, that’s exactly what it says. It’s a layer for a standalone headset to use, to do standalone things.

According to Lynch, the last piece of evidence suggesting a stand-alone device is a reference to a deckard_applications.vrmanifest file “accidentally left in a Linux ARM binary”.

After studying other driver files, Lynch has come to the conclusion that this file “is in fact a whole new feature” which, “when implemented with Deckard, will allow Deckard to boot up and enter. some default apps to do things like room setup, or something like xrdesktop “.

Xrdesktop is an app from Collabora, which Lynch says was “heavily funded by Valve to create a bunch of cool VR stuff” and allows gamers to access their PC’s desktop from within VR.

If Lynch’s conclusions turn out to be correct and Deckard is indeed the successor to the Valve Index, it is not yet clear whether he will be able to fully run VR games on his own, or whether he will require logging in. to a PC (although wireless using the Wi-Fi antennas mentioned in the patent) and use its processing power to render and then stream games to the headset.

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The original Valve Index headset was released in June 2019 and sold for $ 999. When Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx at the end of that year, demand for the headset increased instantly, which led to its sale in January 2020. The subsequent COVID-19 pandemic also meant that the new stock took several months to arrive.

Valve is currently preparing to release the Steam Deck, a portable device described as “a powerful all-in-one laptop PC” capable of running the latest AAA games.

Steam Deck runs the latest version of Valve’s SteamOS software – based on Linux – giving players easy access to their Steam game library and all of the platform’s features.

However, Valve insists that Steam Deck is also an open PC with the ability to install any software or connect to any hardware. This means that gamers would be able to access game stores from other companies such as The Microsoft Store and Xbox Game Pass.