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Valve Index VR headset preorders start May 1. Look out PlayStation, Oculus

As if there weren't enough virtual headsets out there, the game maker Valve is throwing a hat into the ring.

Valve's upcoming VR headset is getting ready to take on the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR.

Valve is known for making hit shooting games like Half-Life and Portal, and the battle strategy game Dota 2. It runs the popular Steam online game store. It's pioneered new virtual reality technology. 

Now Valve appears to be building a headset too.

Valve quietly announced its new Index headset last Friday.

Screenshot by CNET

The Bellevue, Washington, game maker quietly said it's going to start preorders for its own VR headset, called Valve Index, on May 1. Valve said the new device will be sold alongside the company's new "knuckles" controllers that allow for better control of VR games and apps. 

The new device headset is due ship on June 15, though that date could change. The company hasn't revealed the headset's price yet either.

"More info will be made available in the coming weeks," a Valve spokesman said. The company's planning a bigger announcement around when preorders begin.

Word of Valve's new headset may come as a surprise. Until now, it appeared the company was focused on helping its partner HTC build $499 Vive headsets. Valve is also known for incubating technology like lighthouse sensors that help power HTC's headsets. Valve has also created prototypes like the knuckles controllers, which were first shown a couple years ago.


Valve's new headset was quietly announced Friday.


When Valve does start selling VR headsets, it won't be competing with just the likes of HTC. Facebook's Oculus VR division and its upcoming $399 Oculus Rift S would likely compete against Valve's Index for displaying intricately detailed and complex video games and VR worlds. Valve would also be going up against Sony and its PlayStation VR, which is powered by a separately sold PlayStation 4 video game console.

Originally published March 29, 8:16 p.m. PT.
Update, March 30: Adds Valve comment; Update, April 1, 1:39 p.m. PT: Adds more details about launch date; Update, April 1, 2:06 p.m.: Adds details on preorders and launch.