The Valve Index Critique

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
To give some balance to the debate as Oculus have obviously got a lot of heat following their last FB Connect amongst enthusiasts, as an owner of a Valve Index, I have to wonder.. is just doing nothing making you a better company?

Valve have released the Index. For its, time its a great headset. However we do have a few issues; with the headset itself and with how Valve have operated as a company.


1. Controller click-gate.
Controllers for the analogue stick in early models of the Index controllers couldn't click down. Valve said it was as per spec. However they SILENTLY fixed this for future revisions of the controller but NEVER admitted fault or offered a recall. Instead users had to cry with SteamVR support for days, and then eventually maybe get a replacement (once posting in their broken controller).

As a company, which sells a high end VR package... how is that acceptable?

2. Controller reliability
The controllers, as cutting edge as they are, are clearly less reliable than the competitors. The RMA process for this has been EXTREMELY variable. I myself was not offered an advanced RMA once, but then once it stopped turning on completely, they gave me one.

3. The Index's vertical SDE
The Index has vertical SDE sometimes on certain colours if you move your head from left to right.
Its so prominent and common valve have a COLUMN CORRECTION setting to try and calibrate it. However this is not a fix, as it will just shift to a different colour.
I had a Rift S and it did NOT have this issue anywhere near as obvious (as in I never did notice it).
How in the world is that acceptable without a proviso and CLEAR documentation and advice on what is and ISN'T acceptable?

4. Valve's commitment to VR games
Valve promised three titles. They delivered 1, and very late.
Where are the games?
At what timescale do we finally say they've lied or they're too late?
Or do they have an indefinite timescale?


5. An Index 2.0 successor.
Competitor headsets now have the Index beat for resolution. Will we see a new Index 2.0?
Why did Valve waste their time helping HP with their audio and their lens design when they have enough work to do themselves with the Index 2.0?

6. Can Valve be a hardware manufacturer AND a software manufacturer?
The Index STILL has a waiting list for purchase. Its that popular but Valve also are not meeting that demand.
Is this the bottleneck for Valve as a hardware company?
NVIDIA got a TONNE of crap for not having stock for their 3080 launch.. but Valve seemingly haven't had enough for a year, but still remain the angel of VR. Is this acceptable?

And the bigger point is, if they can't manufacture their hardware quick enough, can they still do everything else like produce VR games? "Of course, the hardware and software departments are different" Then WTF are my games?

7. Wireless Index
Is this ever going to come? It was touched upon by Gabe but we still don't have anything.



Just food for thought. Valve are far from perfect too when it comes to VR. Oculus is a gigantic loss to PCVR from a software perspective as they've released some excellent games. Even Lone Echo from a VR-gameplay perspective surpasses HLA.
 

Atmos

Well-known Member
I think we should cut Valve some slack.

Firstly they never ever wanted to be a hardware manufacturer. They wanted third parties to bring their expertise and experience of manufacturing to the table. The reason this fell apart is because Facebook are dropping the price of entry level VR to nothing wiping away any profit and killing VR development dead. Thank you Oculus.

HTC took the plunge with the Vive but when they opened their own VR store they went in direct competition with Valve. So Valve were forced into manufacturing their own HMD which is what they should of done from the start. #Hindsight.

The Index is an incredible machine and only cost £460 which is good value. They used the technology at the time to best fit the GPUs and PC requirements of the day.

But now the landscape has changed. We have a new generation of GPUs and more pressure to deliver a wider FOV.

As long as Index keeps selling well I guess Valve can delay an Index 2 for as long as possible.

But I font think they should be complacent. They did that with HTC. Hopefully Reverb G2 can make an impact but a £299 Quest2 has changed the VR landscape.

PCVR really needs to be 140FOV and wireless with zero SDE and zero Godrays.

Now display port 2.1 is here the limitations in resolution have been removed. We could end up with 4 displays as found in the StarVR One.

I’m expecting something big by the end of 2021.
 
Honestly out of all of those problems you've listed you've missed out quite a big one. A headset released nowadays should NOT have god rays.

As for Valve and their hardware they'll probably do the same thing they always do and stop selling it after a while. They are NOT a decent hardware company and never have been. They should stick to software imo.

As far as their software goes I'm hoping for plenty of DLC for Alyx, there's LOADS of space on that big map that they haven't used.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Honestly out of all of those problems you've listed you've missed out quite a big one. A headset released nowadays should NOT have god rays.

As for Valve and their hardware they'll probably do the same thing they always do and stop selling it after a while. They are NOT a decent hardware company and never have been. They should stick to software imo.

As far as their software goes I'm hoping for plenty of DLC for Alyx, there's LOADS of space on that big map that they haven't used.


Oh yeah the Glare issue is bad. They corrected their lens design for the Reverb but I agree.

Rift S lens design is absolutely fantastic. Best VR headset for God rays I've used. Quest, CV1, Vive were crap. Index is crapper.

They've opened up the HLA modding scene slowly so I'm assuming they'll just let the community do the rest of the work. I know if they open up more assets, some modders are confident they can re-make HL2 in HLA. Of course the timeline for that is probably gigantic.


Their hardware history isn't great.
Steam link = Abandoned
Steam Machines = Abandoned
Steam controller = Abandoned
Base stations = Supported continuously

But then again, Oculus have the same trend
Oculus go = Abandoned
CV1 + constellation tracking = Abandoned
Rift S = Abandoned
Q1 = will be Abandoned in 18 months when games can no longer run on it.
 

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