Valve Index Comparison
The Valve Index got released on June 28th, and it is a great top-of-the-line headset. From the resolution to the controllers, the Index is great all-around, but does it justify the thousand dollar price tag? A Valve Index comparison is needed since it is one of the most expensive and newest headsets released.
Going against the Oculus Rift S (released May 21), one of the cheapest yet most reliable headsets, we wanted to see how they would compare. These are both amazing headsets for their functionality and truly shows how quickly VR is changing.
Both headsets are targeted towards very different markets and different people but a comparison is needed. See how much $600 makes a difference and how rapidly the industry is improving.
Before getting into the hardware and specs, it’s important to note the differences these headsets have that makes them so unique. The software that comes alongside the Oculus is much better than the Index by a long shot. There are much more AAA games available in the market for Oculus that it doesn’t compare to the Index.
Also, due to being recently released, only a small amount of demos and indie games use the full functionality of the Index’s controllers putting it at a disadvantage. The Index uses SteamVR for their games and is restricted to it as the Rift S is not.
Aside from software, both headsets do very well with comfort. The “halo ring” in the Rift S allows anyone to enjoy VR for an extensive period of time. The Index in comparison have micro-fibers nicely placed for a premium feel and long usage.
The Index does have an advantage on headphones since they are off-ear and still able to give surround sounds. Although it isn’t directly touching, the sound is still a high-quality and immersive and truly shows the improvement of VR over the years. This is a strong point for the Index as no other headset really does this.
For the accessories of each headset, both companies went their own way. The Index has 2 external sensors but, it tradeoffs with a more difficult setup. The Rift S, however, uses inside-out tracking which does not require any cameras and makes setup much easier.
For the controllers, Valve released very immersive controllers which add all new hand functionality to VR but has issues with thumbstick issues. The Rift S, on the other hand, have very lightweight and comfortable controllers that are widely supported.
Price Point & Future of VR
The Valve Index has much more of a premium feel but of course, not everyone has $1,000 to throw at VR, especially while the industry continues to change. This makes the Rift S the smartest choice with this pricepoint and only enthusiasts will be trying the Index out.
Although the Index has the highest refresh rate on the market and great specs, it doesn’t justify the price. But the Index does make for a great stepping stone for the industry, especially VR on PC and other high-end models.
If you want to get into VR for your first time, we recommend cheaper options like the Rift S as you will most likely not value these small improvements the Index has. We wanted to make this comparison to realize how much VR industry is changing and improving and how there is something for everyone.
To order the headset, visit Steam to see the pricing.
The thousand-dollar price tag can be misleading due to what the price includes. For the Valve Index VR Kit which includes the headset, controllers, and base station it will be $999.
If you are just interested in the headset and the controllers, it will only be $749.
Finally, if you want the individual pieces and not all bundled together, it would cost:
- Valve Index Headset – $499
- Valve Index Controllers – $279
- (1) Valve Index Base Station – $149
As more games are optimizing for these controllers is releasing, the Index could be an option for some. The price may be high for most people and the Rift S may be a better choice. But the Index is great for the future of VR and the improvement it will bring to future headsets.
We wanted to compare the Index, one of the most expensive and most recent headsets released to the Oculus Rift S, one of the cheapest yet reliable headsets. Let’s find out how this headset lines up with the others in the market.
Index vs Rift S
A Valve Index comparison is good to be able to compare the headsets in the market, especially when they release. To get an overview of all the headsets currently in the market, we made a guide on Everything You Need To Know About VR.