Valve announced that Index, the company’s high-end, enthusiast-level VR headset, is going up for pre-order today. Not only that, but there’s also a few extra accessories you might want if you’re going to throw down the $1,000 for the full kit, or just $500 for the headset alone. Among them is an adapter that unites the headset’s DisplayPort connector, power cable, and USB 3.0 into a single VirtualLink USB Type-C port.
Valve is selling the adapter for $40, and says that it has full functionality with VirtualLink Type-C ports, as well as some slightly limited functionality with DP alternate mode ports such as Thunderbolt 3, which sacrifices the headset’s camera passthrough capability.
Take note: not all USB-C ports are created equal. VirtualLink port labeling has been sporadic, although a majority of RTX 2070, and all NVIDIA cards above it include it. It appears only the RTX 2060 Founders Edition card from NVIDIA includes VirtualLink, as all other OEMs opted to exclude it their variants. Very few laptops have VirtualLink itself, however many do feature Thunderbolt 3. If you’re unsure of which USB Type-C port you have, make sure to refer to your owner’s manual.
In case you’re just joining us, VirtualLink was unveiled last year by a consortium made up of Valve, NVIDIA, AMD, HTC, Oculus, and Microsoft, and while the port has found its way into some pretty high-end gear, the same can’t be said for its adoption on the VR hardware side of things.
There’s currently no headset on the market that makes direct use of the ‘next generation’ VR connection standard. This largely makes sense considering the new generation of VR headsets is still sticking to more or less the same recommended specs from years prior. Although as headsets invariably make gains in resolution (mitigated somewhat by foveated rendering hopefully), it’s possible GPUs, both desktop and laptop variants, will continue their move towards VirtualLink integration as the flagships of today invariably become the min specs of tomorrow.
Looking for more info on Valve Index? Head over to our extensive hands-on to learn all about it.