The Valve Index is for PC gamers who use Steam VR…and you may not need all its parts. Sarah Tew/CNET There are plenty of PC-connected VR headsets, and most of them work the same way: a set of full-motion controllers, a bulky head display that has a long thick cord going to your PC. Maybe it has extra room sensors you need to set up. Maybe it doesn’t. The Valve Index is not much different from other PC VR headsets in that regard (see also: Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, or Microsoft’s VR offerings). It’s not wireless, it doesn’t have eye tracking, and it hasn’t reinvented a way to not be a bulky, cabled headset.But it is probably one of the best PC VR headsets of the moment, and its wild new controllers feel like the future.And yet I recently had a realization I never thought of the first time I tried the hardware weeks ago: this doesn’t feel like a new system. That’s because you don’t need to buy all of it if you’re already someone who owns an HTC Vive.Now that the Valve Index is available (although current shipping times put new orders into mid-September), here’s my guide on how to consider whether to buy it — or which part of it.All the stuff in the Valve Index $999 package (you don’t need the sensor boxes if you already own a Vive). Scott Stein/CNET Welcome to the modular VR world of SteamI mean, of course, Valve Index is a new VR system. Index is a new head-mounted display, there are new controllers, and there’s a $1,000 box that includes all of this along with little boxes to mount in your room to track your movements.But what’s cool about the Index is it’s all made on the same Steam VR platform that the HTC Vive uses. You could mix and match Vive hardware and Valve Index hardware. This is, in a way, an HTC Vive 2.HTC isn’t making the Valve Index, to be clear. Vive still exists, and Valve Index will exist alongside it. But you can mix and match Vive and Valve Index hardware, both of which use Steam VR. Which means, if you already own a Vive, and you’re Valve Index-curious, you may want to just buy the Index’s super-cool new controllers instead, spend $279, and consider that your upgrade.Take a look at Valve’s different piecemeal part offerings for yourself. It felt a little tight-fitting over my glasses. Sarah Tew/CNET Index headset: Excellent video and audio, but…The Valve Index’s headset does look great, optically. The LCD resolution is sharp (1,440×1,600, same as the Vive Pro and Oculus Rift S, but lower-res than the HP Reverb), and the extra field of view (about 130 degrees) reduces the VR scuba-goggles feel. A faster 120Hz frame rate makes things feel even smoother-moving and more present (there’s an experimental 144Hz mode in Steam VR, but I haven’t felt the need). The hovering pull-down speakers on the sides deliver booming, crisp sound. In that sense, it’s a head-mounted display that feels really good.However, the Valve Index lacks a few things. It’s not wireless, which means you need a cable tether. The Index’s streamlined cable setup skips the clunkier breakout box on the Vive, but it’s still a big cable (it needs DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0 on your PC, plus a power outlet to power the headset).The Index also lacks eye tracking, a technology that should greatly impact control and graphics quality in future VR. Eye tracking isn’t really in non-enterprise VR yet (the Vive Pro Eye has eye tracking but only for enterprise use, and it costs a fortune). But still, it’s a missing feature.The Index doesn’t do self-contained room tracking, either. The Oculus Rift S and Microsoft’s VR headsets like the HP Reverb use cameras in the headset, and that’s it. The Valve Index still needs little light-emitting boxes to be installed in the room you’re in. It’s the same tech, basically, that the original 2016 Vive used. The 2.0 version of these sensor boxes can enable a large room to turn into a holodeck, and the tracking is really good — but it’s extra gear you need to set up.Finally, like most VR headsets, even though the resolution’s good, it’s not “retina-level.” Meaning, you can still see pixels. I’ve only ever seen one retina-level VR headset, and it costs $6,000. Someday, it’ll arrive to all headsets. Again, just a reminder that the Index isn’t the uber-headset.These are excellent controllers. Not many games take advantage of the wild finger tracking yet. Sarah Tew/CNET The controllers are great upgrades, but app support variesThe Valve Index controllers, as I’ve said, feel like the overdue sequel to the original Vive VR controllers. They’re great, they feel comfy and can track all your fingers like magic gloves. They can register force when you squeeze them. They feel like the future of VR input.They also have some nice extras that the Vive controllers lack, like buttons and analog sticks. That makes them serve as more-capable game controllers, much like the Oculus Touch controllers.It’s great that these controllers can work with all the games and apps that support Vive’s controllers, so there’s a deep library to tap into. They can be your Vive replacement controllers, easily.But that being said, only a handful of games take advantage of the Index controllers’ unique qualities right now. A list, if you’re curious:Space JunkiesMuseum of Other Realities#SkiJumpGarden of the SeaVacation SimulatorFujiiTrover Saves the UniverseAperture Hand LabsShadow Legend VRVRChatOnwardPavlov VRArizona SunshineSpace Pirate TrainerFruit Ninja VRSuperHot VRHot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand GrenadesPokerStars VRVanishing RealmsCosmic TripNeos VRAccounting+Job SimulatorTilt BrushJet IslandDuck SeasonWindlands 2MossEcho GrottoBlade & SorceryBigscreen BetaClimbeyBeat SaberCompoundAnd, even in that list, some games don’t really do much with the extra finger tracking. The brilliant Aperture Hand Lab is a great demo app that shows what experiences could do when designed with these controllers in mind. But how many games and apps will bother to do that?The Valve Index controllers have analog sticks and buttons and a trackpad, a big improvement on Vive’s older controllers. Sarah Tew/CNET Not the same wireless freedom as Oculus QuestThis is a totally unfair comparison… but the $399 Oculus Quest, all self-contained and wireless, not needing any PC at all, was a more surprising experience to me than Valve Index. I love the Quest’s easy-on, instant-start satisfaction. Admittedly, it’s a totally different proposition: it’s using a mobile chip and has a limited closed-off curated library of games. It’s not as powerful as Valve Index.Again, sorry for the comparison. But I want VR to become more effortless and wire-free, easy to be immersed in. Valve Index isn’t that. You need a PC. You need those sensor boxes in your room. There’s a long, thick cable. It is, however, an improved set of hardware that the Steam VR platform needed, and those Index controllers are really great. I just don’t know, at this point, whether it’s worth your money to dive in. Computers Gaming Post a comment 0 Tags Share your voice Steam Valve Virtual Reality HTC
Los Angeles-based Snapchat, an image messaging and multimedia mobile application, has privately filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company filed its papers with the US Securities and Exchange Commission well before the US presidential elections.People familiar with the company’s developments told Bloomberg that the firm is targeting a valuation of about $20 billion-$25 billion in the listing, which is expected to be out by March 2017. So far, no final decision has been taken regarding the size of the IPO or the timing.Companies that have revenues less than $1 billion can secretly file for a public offering. It allows the firms to quietly test the investors while keeping their financial confidential. The photo-messaging app is aiming to raise about $4 billion with a valuation of about $25-$35 billion.Snapchat has hired Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group to manage its IPO. Additionally, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse Group will also be involved as joint book runners, Reuters reported.Snapchat will be the largest social media IPO since Twitter in November 2013.The company, which started in 2012 as a mobile app, allows users to send photos which vanish within seconds. With an active user-base of over 100 million people, the firm managed to raise $1.81 billion in May, which valued Snapchat at $20 billion.The May round of funding followed an influx of $175 million Series F funding led by Fidelity Investments in March, which had put Snapchat’s value at $16 billion.
Vijay Devarakonda, Kiara AdvaniInstagramKabir Singh, which is an official remake of Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, has been rewriting box office records in the domestic market. The movie crossed Rs 100 crore mark in just 5 days and now it is all set to cross Rs 150 crore mark on the 7th day of its release in theatres. And while Shahid Kapoor is getting praises from all corners, Arjun Reddy star Vijay Devarakonda has sent a special gift to the film’s leading lady Kiara Advani for her brilliant performance.Mightily impressed by Kiara’s role in Kabir Singh, Vijay sent her clothes of his line as a token of love and appreciation for the success of the film. And Kiara, who was overwhelmed with joy, was all hearts for Vijay for his sweet gesture. “Thank youuu Arjun,” Kiara wrote on Instagram.Shahid Kapoor has scored his first solo century with Kabir Singh and the actor seems to have gripped the nation with his portrayal of self-destructive character.The producers of Kabir Singh – Bhushan Kumar, Murad Khetani, Krishan Kumar and Ashwin Varde – are laughing their way to the banks with the commercial success of Kabir Singh. Murad shared that they initially planned to release the film in 2,500-2,800 screens pan India but “owing to the response we garnered in advance booking, we released the movie in 3,123 screens. Kiara AdvaniInstagram