Since the release of its first (and so far, only) VR headset in 2019 and its flagship VR game in 2020, Valve has been worryingly quiet about its future plans for VR. But recent hiring and job listings suggest the company is still working toward next-gen VR hardware.

It’s been nearly four years since the release of Valve Index, a leading PC VR headset which has held its ground as the second most-popular headset on the platform for longer than most might have expected. But the aging headset mirrors the aging PC VR landscape in general which has taken a back seat to Meta’s Quest platform after it captured the attention of a bulk of VR developers.

But Valve may not be done with VR yet. As YouTuber Brad Lynch pointed out last month, the company recently brought in two new people with experience in VR displays and optics, one of which claims to be advising the company on “next-gen Valve Index and Steam Deck products.”

Additionally we’ve spotted some interesting updates to Valve job listings showing the company is still very interested in hiring people with VR expertise.

As of late 2022, the company’s listing for a Visual & User Experience Designer didn’t include any mention of VR, but sometime between then and March 2023, the company updated the description to indicate that the hire would “create UI for use across desktop, mobile, handheld & VR.”

Similarly, the Software Engineer for Hardware listing was updated sometime between mid-2022 and March 2023 with new language specifically relating to “the next generation of VR and hand-held gaming products,” and “core VR Technologies (tracking, optical calibration, display customization).”

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Add that to a handful of teases from the company in the last few years, and it surely seems like VR remains on the radar internally at Valve, despite little external communication to that end. Granted, Valve is pretty unique as a company, often working at its own pace on projects that may or may not ever launch. While there’s no telling if the company’s internal VR effort is on the backburner or actively moving forward, it’s clear the company still wants to hire and retain employees with VR expertise.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Jorge

    Please Valve. Get it together. I’ve been waiting for a next gen Index forever.

    • ViRGiN

      30 years of PCVR is unable to sponsor yet another 100 million dollar yacht for gaben. why would he ever care about people like you? people who are not buying software nor really play it?

      • Ookami

        30 years? lol what are you gabbing on about? And Gaben hasn’t been involved in the day-to-day work at Valve since before HL2

        • ViRGiN

          PCVR has been out for nearly 30 years.
          Gaben not even being involved with work at Valve just shows how hyper lazy he has gotten all these years. Zero innovations, nothing, just farming and exploiting Steam monopoly till end of his days. Steam paid for his $100m yacht. Not SteamVR.

          Tons of remarkable people are still around working on all different projects, but not gabe. He just chillin.

          • Ookami

            yeah, the point being Gaben is not representative of anything Valve really, as much as you’re hyper-fixated on him all the time. He’s not “Zuckerberg, but for Valve”

            Anything prior to “the big release” of vr was early prototypes, and that kind of thing always moves decades-slow. That’s just the nature of inventions and technology.

      • LMAO

        Ignorant troll alert!

        • ViRGiN

          Triggered ignorant alert!

  • NL_VR

    Really looking forward to their new headset.
    But i dont expect it this year

    • ViRGiN

      it’s always soon for the past few years.
      wet dream for paid subscribers of sadleyitsbradley

      • LMAO

        Ignorant troll alert!.

        • ViRGiN

          Triggered ignorant alert!.

  • Tabp

    OLED with HDR sounds good. With these updates happening around the same time, it’s likely they’re taking it from the backburner to the frontburner. However, if they’re hiring in early 2023, it’ll probably be a while before we get a commercial release. Oh well, as long as they get it right and deliver a great headset.