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Valve Index...Yea or Nay?


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Well, now I've gone and done it.

More than a month ago, I signed up on the Steam web page to get in line for a Valve Index VR headset with all the trimmings...which costs about a grand.

Yesterday, I got an email from Valve.  Indexes are on the way!  I have just 7 days to decide whether to give them my credit card info and commit to the purchase, or lose my place in line.

Of course, I ALSO read that HP and Valve are developing a "new and improved" VR headset.  It may be better, faster, cheaper.  May be.  No clue when, if ever, it will be available.

My current computer is pretty capable, but to take full advantage of the Index, it will need at LEAST a new graphics card, and maybe other updates.  That's another $1,000 to $3,000, depending on how far overboard I go.

I'm jittering back and forth, wondering What Do I Do Now?

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Whenever the next iteration of headsets come, they almost definitely won't be cheaper than what you can get now. Index isn't cheaper than Vive ever was, etc. If you're concerned about price or performance, go for the Vive or Oculus since they're cheaper and lower resolution. (I personally have a Vive.)

Have you looked into what kind of VR things you want to try out? Any games already planned?

You might also want to measure the distance between your eyes and make sure the headset can be adjusted enough for your eyes. Some don't come as far apart or close together as others.

What are your PC specs? Do you have enough ports for the cables to plug in?

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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Thanks, Wulfie.

I plan on doing mostly flight sims, but Beat Saber looks fun and I want to try that too.  And some of the "explore exotic places in VR" things.

The Index has physically adjustable IPD.  My other choice, the HP Reverb+, doesn't...one reason I picked the Index, even though the Reverb has higher resolution.

I'm currently running an NVIDIA GeForce 980, but would probably upgrade to a 2080Ti.  It would be nice to upgrade the rest of the PC at the same time, but it could probably wait.

If there aren't enough ports, I can always make more.

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13 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Thanks, Wulfie.

I plan on doing mostly flight sims, but Beat Saber looks fun and I want to try that too.  And some of the "explore exotic places in VR" things.

The Index has physically adjustable IPD.  My other choice, the HP Reverb+, doesn't...one reason I picked the Index, even though the Reverb has higher resolution.

I'm currently running an NVIDIA GeForce 980, but would probably upgrade to a 2080Ti.  It would be nice to upgrade the rest of the PC at the same time, but it could probably wait.

If there aren't enough ports, I can always make more.

I'm not much into simulators, but Beat Saber alone has made my Vive worth it. Excellent workout, too good even (because I play until I'm sore for days), and just fun. I do have a friend who seems to have spent a great amount of time in simulators though.

My graphics card (1060, 3GB) is slightly worse than yours, but it handles 90% of games very well. (And the ones it doesn't, seem to be badly unoptimized or somehow bugged.) I don't think you should pull the trigger on the new graphics card until you've had your GamerGoggles™ for a while and still think it's worth that much.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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Beat Saber is one of the best VR applications, because you stay in one place. So, if everything works right, the real and virtual worlds are locked together and there's no nausea from the user getting mixed signals from balance and eyes.

Freely moving around in VR not locked to the real world makes somewhere around 5-10% of users barf. This is called "simulator sickness". This is the real reason VR didn't catch on.

Edited by animats
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As much as I want the valve index, I personally am going to be waiting until the next generation for them to knock out the issues people have encountered (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcsXVmwUPbw )

Overall, I hear great things about the index, but I am a poor yeen and barely was just able to upgrade my computer. Although the video I linked features a headset that is 10+ months of almost daily use, I personally don't want to risk it breaking. I assume next generation will feature re-enforced cable strain relief, better headset cushion(faux leather option maybe? Granted this is available via third parties), and better sealing on the paint for the handset.

The risk of the cable strain relief breaking(even if it breaks only after 10+ months) is a deal breaker for me as it can disconnect the cable from the circuit board. The paint on the controllers rubbing off is sort of understandable, but I'd prefer it not to be an issue (This can be resolved by protective sleeves over the controllers).

However the VR experience, as a HTC vive owner, is quite amazing. Even if second life, unfortunately, is not playable in VR yet.

Overall, If you have the money, go for it! I head lots of good things about it such as reduced screen door effect(which as a HTC Vive owner, is noticeable, so any reduction is great). If you are really really tight on money(eg: like me who only has tiny amount of money from freelance jobs/house work/christmas/birthday money†), maybe wait until next generation.

NO I AM NOT A CHILD, I am autism and live with my parents and they like to give me money(??? or at least they never have complained?)

Edited by Chaser Zaks
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I’ve got the Oculus Quest which is the wireless all-in-one VR. It’s not as good as the Index or the Oculus Rift but you don’t need a VR ready computer. You just turn it on and play. However, if you do have a VR ready computer, you can link the Quest with a single usb cable and get all the Rift compliant media. I’ve tried it unlinked and linked and both modes work. I have the PSVR too which requires a PS4. For me, wireless play is just amazing and I’d rather play unlinked with lesser performance than linked. 
 

The VR on the Index will look good. Really good. It’s probably the best VR for consumers right now. If you want to step down to a lower end, the Quest is the one I’d recommend. I think your simulator requirement might be the deciding factor. You may want to check reviews of simulators with a linked Quest. 

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