The curious eyes at PCGamer caught an interesting sight, a patent application made by Valve back in December 2021 for a cord-free VR headset. Valve has been one of the main investors in VR technology, even going as far as developing an AAA VR game, a Half-Life title on top of that dubbed “Half-Life: Alyx”.
Steam-owner also has a consumer-level VR headset named Valve Index and arguably it’s one of the best headsets for virtual reality out there. It’s lighter than most, users regularly praise the headset as the most comfortable one they’ve used (as a VR user, I too can agree with this statement) and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Valve planning for an even better VR headset.
One of the main issues users/players have to face with VR is cables being everywhere. Cables make it a major hassle for everyday users to enjoy VR regularly. If Valve can deliver here —as in beat what Quest 2 already offers—, it may be a game-changer for the whole VR industry. It wouldn’t be the first cable-free headset (Quest 2 already did it), but the quality Index delivers is head and shoulders above compared to most others. Considering how being tied to your PC is one of the key factors why players tend to stay away from VR (aside from the fact that you need a beefy PC and a decent amount of free space to fully enjoy it) this could prove vital for the next step in virtual reality.
What does it mean for Metaverse?
Oculus Quest 2 is a cable-free VR headset developed by Meta/Facebook and it showed the whole industry there’s a huge demand for an untethered VR experience on the market. However, just like its predecessor, it comes with some unique issues (such as having to link up with a Facebook account), but the device proved itself as a key ingredient of the metaverse recipe.
Anyone with a PC or a smartphone can dive into a metaverse experience, but both VR and AR provide stronger and more immersive adventures. There’s in fact a rising interest in VR & AR technologies alongside metaverse per Google’s gaming insights, especially on the mobile side.
The lighter and untethered VR headsets are the more they’ll make it into everyday users’ homes. Google isn’t the only major player predicting a side-by-side “VR & metaverse boom” in the upcoming years. Many other reliable data providers expect this shift to happen gradually.
VR will significantly help with metaverse’s growth. As for now, while Quest 2 looks like the obviously better choice, Valve’s new prototype could reach gamers faster and more efficiently and with fewer worries, provided it’s built with gamers in mind.