There are rumors that Valve is planning to launch a PC VR console. But would that even make sense for Valve?
The same Youtuber who discovered numerous hints about Valve’s wireless Deckard headset is now following a new lead. According to Brad Lynch, Valve may be planning to release a PC VR console that pairs with Deckard to enable wireless PC VR gaming.
Lynch’s theory is based on patents, findings in various drivers that point to a device called “Galileo”, and a four-year-old image from Valve’s headquarters that shows an unknown console-like device.
If you want to go down the rabbit hole, I recommend reading UploadVR’s article on the subject, which summarizes all the findings. These and other links are listed at the end of this article.
What’s in favor of a PC VR console?
There is no doubt that Valve is working on new VR hardware and a successor to Valve Index. The real question so far has been whether it will be a fully standalone device like Meta Quest and Apple Vision Pro, or whether it will require a PC to serve as an external computing unit and low-latency VR streaming device.
A PC VR console similar to Steam Machines, but built by Valve itself like the Steam Deck, would have the necessary streaming requirements, be much more powerful than Meta Quest, and make it easier for developers to create games for Valve’s VR platform. Because there are many different PC configurations, headsets, and VR controllers, it’s a lot of work for VR studios to adapt their software for SteamVR. Galileo could provide console-like standardization for PC VR.
A PC VR console would also allow Valve to stay in its traditional PC domain and not be forced to open a separate store with content made specifically for standalone headsets.
Valve Galileo could be coming soon
The question, of course, is how much demand there would be for Valve’s PC VR console.
Keep in mind that you’ll probably need to buy a Deckard headset in addition to the console. Console users who want to get into VR could also get a (wired) Playstation VR 2, while PC users are unlikely to buy a second PC specifically for VR. In any case, Meta Quest would have the price advantage and would work without a PC. From this perspective, I doubt Galileo could breathe much life into the SteamVR platform, which has been stagnating for a long time.
Years ago, Oculus and Apple also toyed with the idea of an external processing unit streaming VR content into a headset, but dropped it in favor of a standalone solution.
Hopefully we will hear more from Valve soon: South Korea’s Radio Research Agency recently certified some unknown Valve hardware, suggesting an imminent launch. It is possible that this device is Galileo.