Valve’s next hardware release could be an all-in-one VR headset according to new reports circulating the web.
According to several bits of information discovered in Valve’s SteamVR code, it appears as though the company is currently in the development of a new VR headset. Unlike the Valve Index, the company’s premium PC VR headset, the “Deckard,” as it’s referred to in the notes, is a wireless standalone VR headset capable of operating without the need of a dedicated PC.
The code was first discovered by YouTuber Brad Lynch, who then cross-referenced the codename “Deckard” with the company’s most recent patent applications. Ars Technica has since backed up the information provided by Lynch, citing “sources familiar with matters at Valve.”
According to these reports, the Deckard will feature a built-in processor, removing the need for a tethered cable. Several code strings also make reference to potential inside-out tracking. Unlike the Valve Index, the Deckard will supposedly remove the need for external base stations thanks to the inclusion of inside-out tracking.
While nothing has yet been confirmed by the company, this news comes at a particularly interesting time with Valve having just recently announced the Steam Deck. Available for purchase later this year, this handheld gaming device features a 7-inch 1280×800 touchscreen display, built-in gamepad, AMD Zen 2 CPU, and AMD Radeon DNA GPU with 16 GB of RAM, allowing players access to their library of AAA PC games while on the go.
While not optimized for VR per se, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais stated in an interview with IGN that support for VR on the Steam Deck isn’t entirely out of the question. Last week we learned that VR developers such as Cloudhead Games (Pistol Whip, The Gallery) have already begun experimenting with the hardware. In fact, it appears as though one developer has already managed to get SteamVR Home up and running on the Steam Deck.
Of course, this by no means guarantees the device is capable of running more complex games and apps. That being said, a dedicated VR headset designed specifically for the Steam Deck could be a more realistic way of bringing VR support to the portable gaming device.
Feature Image Credit: Valve