If you’ve been plugged into the Valve leak-o-verse, you’ve probably come across the name ‘Deckard’, the supposed code name of a standalone headset allegedly under development by the one and only. While Valve isn’t confirming anything about the storied standalone, the company went on record late last year to say they are still have faith in VR, and are critically still working on VR headsets.

Valve product designer Greg Coomer spoke to Korean gaming publication This is Game (Korean) in December, saying that VR is very much still in the works. The interview wasn’t widely shared in the English-speaking side of the Internet until it landed on Reddit, Google-translated to English.

Here’s Coomer’s response to a question about what he can reveal in regard to VR, translated from Korean to English:

There isn’t much (laughter). Nevertheless, I can definitely say that we are continuing to develop VR headsets recently. Valve has a lot of expertise in VR devices and has faith in the medium and VR games.

We hope to remain open on PC platforms rather than having VR games exclusively on a certain platform. While adhering to this belief, we are continuing development.

However, we cannot confirm the existence of specific products or disclose the release date of the results. The same applies to game projects being developed internally. There are certainly many projects underway, but we cannot announce anything today.

As you might gather, Valve doesn’t openly speak about its in-development projects. Hearing that VR is still on the table from Coomer directly though, who has been with Valve since the release of Half-Life (1998), and worked on major games all the way up to Half-Life: Alyx (2020), is just about as good as you can get.

That’s especially so since the last time Valve released any VR hardware was its enthusiast-grade PC VR headset Valve Index in 2019. A year later, the studio launched its only full-length VR game to date, Half-Life: Alyx.

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Still, it hasn’t been entirely all quiet on the Valve VR front. In March 2022, Valve chief Gabe Newell called its handheld gaming PC platform Steam Deck “a steppingstone” to standalone VR hardware.

“One of the things [Steam Deck] represents is battery-capable, high-performance horsepower that eventually you could use in VR applications as well. You can take the PC and build something that is much more transportable. We’re not really there yet, but this is a stepping stone.”

At the time, Coomer also noted Steam Deck’s hardware “would run well in that [standalone VR] environment, with the TDP necessary… it’s very relevant to us and our future plans.”

Meanwhile, tech analyst and YouTuber Brad Lynch has been probably the most vocal proponent of all things Steam standalone, having followed the Deckard beat since data miners first found a string in a January 2021 Steam update that mentioned the alleged VR standalone.

Over the following years, Lynch has uncovered mounting evidence in subsequent releases of SteamVR, including his most recent supposition that Deckard may include PC VR wireless streaming capabilities, eye-tracking, and passthrough AR features.

As you’d imagine, there have been no public confirmations from Valve, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Gonzax

    An Index2 is what I am looking forward to the most when it comes to new VR devices.

    • ViRGiN

      CocaColaVR will destroy Index5 even before release.

      • LMAO

        Ignorant troll alert..

        • ViRGiN

          “Coca-Cola is planning a wider rollout for a successful virtual reality headset strategy launched last year with Fanta”
          sounds like you’re an ignorant troll.

  • Paul Bellino

    I have tried most VR headsets and have been into VR since 2012 Dev kit, So I think I know what I am talking about. My Index is still to this day the best headset for the money. I look forward to what Valve is doing.

    • pasfish111

      Yes, Only Valve will push PC VR were it should be already a long time ;-)

    • LMAO

      Well said.

      PC VR. Now and Forever!

      • ViRGiN

        Ignorant troll alert.

        • LMAO

          Ignorant troll alert.

        • Ookami

          Nice to see the self-awareness from you

    • Melvin Lopez

      Agreed, i started with a rift and I love my Index

  • wheeler

    It seems that within a year or two there will actually be enough of an advancement in VR hardware to make an Index successor worthwhile. E.g. when it comes to Micro-OLED: I wonder how many would actually forgive an Index successor using LCD (LED backlit or otherwise) or regular OLED (that still has typical first generation OLED problems–like mura, high persistence, blacksmear, low sub-pixel density–as we can see with PSVR2). Nothing released so far actually feels “next gen” compared to 2016 VR HMDs. Better, but really the same basic experience or lacking in some key areas.

    My only real concern are functional differences that second generation VR can provide, because that is where half of VR’s problems lay. One half is comfort and fidelity (which things like better displays, thinner eye tubes, and reduced weight/form factor can help with), but the other is related to functional affordances. So many kinds of use cases and interactions don’t really suit VR as it exists right now (or at the very least it struggles with ones that it ought to excel at, like 6DOF melee combat) but certain advances could change that in more fundamental ways when it comes to e.g. high accuracy eye tracking, directional headset feedback, or other input advancements.

  • ViRGiN

    Let this be a lesson to all the shills and dumbfuks who claim valve is working on VR, cause they JUST found out about an interview from December last year in a language they do not even understand and never bothered a native speaker to translate.

    Fuking insane.

    Same situation as a year or two ago, where valve mentioned “working” on a headset during a meetup with 12 year old kids. That interview was also found several months later lol!

    You should get pimax instead bro.

    • LMAO

      Ignorant troll alert.

    • Ookami

      That steam coming out of your ears can’t be healthy.

  • ViRGiN

    LMAO define dickard
    patents and job listings? look into meta, they must be working on teleportation and deaging.

  • XRC

    Perhaps more interesting than new Valve hardware?

    New Valve software to leverage features of new hardware, they’ve previously talked of “Nintendo” parity

    In the meantime, thoroughly enjoying my Index with access to different software libraries through PCVR, and using a fast GPU (3080Ti) it looks very pleasant

  • Ookami

    This doesn’t really mean we’re going to see anything from them soon, but it’s nice to have some confirmation that Valve is still into VR (unlike a certain youtuber, formally known as VNN, claimed).
    Ironically, the fact that this is not coming from Gaben gives me even more confidence. People give him too much credit–he hasn’t really been active in Valve’s day-to-day work since, like, before HL2 I think

    It also makes me thing that the Steam Deck is a precursor to a standalone or standalone-hybrid (headset with processing unit that plugs into a deck) hmd.

  • M0rph3u5

    If you follow SadlyBradly, you would know that this article is a bit dated…. alot!
    The VR market is really hot right now with the upcoming Beyond, Aero and whatever HTC is up to (?Vive Pro3?) which are of course all rely on Valve’s ecosystem. Oh and and of course PSVR2! and to some extent Pico and Pimax (meh)
    On the other hand, we have the sadw HP abandonment of VR and “meta” being full of shit just like their shitbook and robotic owner that kept faring about the metaverse and blah blah only to abandon it after they made everyone hate oculus who were one of the pioneers in the VR industry.
    With all that, ut is time for Valve to be our saviour once again (will never regret my wait and fighting the temptations at the time to buy Vive/Oculus).. hopefully, with pancake lenses, miniLED or microOLED display, foveated rendering, and of course the high resolution & perfect FOV.

  • NL_VR

    i would like Valve to release a VR headset with stand alone capabilities on games that are not to demanding. a masterpiece like the Steam Deck

  • Tabp

    I’m a week late, but I must say: “Deckard may include PC VR wireless streaming capabilities, eye-tracking” Yes please. These are two key features that warrant updating the headset. It’s been a long time since the Index came out, and the VR industry once again needs Valve to save the day with a platform that delivers the full set of features for immersive VR, including the open platform and high end tracking with full body, instead of the “pick your poison” situation other companies are offering now.

    It’s getting to be time now that graphics cards actually exist in stores again.