Game developer and retailer Valve is expected to launch its own virtual reality (VR) headset in May after releasing a teaser advert on its platform.
Valve, which owns and operates one of the world’s largest online gaming retail platforms Steam, released an image of a new VR headset on Steam with a tagline reading simply “Upgrade your experience”, followed by the date May 2019.
Though not confirmed, it is understood that the image is of its very own VR headset Valve Index, and Valve said there will be “more info soon”.
This is a significant shift towards hardware for the company, and the Valve Index marks the first viable competitor to the HTC Vive, which is the primary headset for the SteamVR system.
Valve has until now focused on pushing its partner HTC’s headset, but launching its own offering is likely to mark an end to this relationship and could stand to significantly diminish Vive’s market share of 12.9 per cent.
Rumours of the device have been circling for months, and earlier this year SteamDB discovered a trademark filing for the Valve Index.