Valve may be developing a second VR headset with a design that is similar to the Oculus Quest headsets on Facebook. YouTuber Brad Lynch discovered evidence for the new headset. Brad Lynch, a YouTuber, discovered multiple references in Valves SteamVR codes to a Deckard-coded device. He then cross-referenced these references against recent patent applications.
Ars Technica confirmed Lynch's findings with its own sources, and Valve has a second prototype of the headset in development. The new headset is different from the Valve Index, which was released in 2019, and has a built-in processor that could enable it to function without being tied to a computer via a cable. Valve has also stated that it wants to be able track movements without the need for external base stations (aka inside out tracking).
The claims Ars makes are broadly in line with the code references Lynch describes in his video. The use of the term "single" and a code string suggesting it may have internal processing power that could allow it operate independently from an external computer are two examples. The headset could also have wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi, as some references suggest. Ars reports that the latest optics details are accurate. This could allow for the headsets lenses closer to the user's face, which would improve comfort and performance.
A standalone headset is being discussed in light of Valves announcement of its handheld Steam Deck console. It runs on an AMD semi-custom processor. Although the console's current performance isn't optimized for VR, a Valve FAQ made clear that it was not optimized. However, the company indicated in an interview that they are interested in using the processor to create a standalone VR headset.
Valves Greg Coomer, Valves Greg Coomer, told The Verge that they are not ready to talk about using the AMD processor in VR headsets. However, he said that it would work well in such an environment with the TDP required... It is very relevant to us as well as our future plans.
However, even if Valve develops something internally, there is no guarantee that it will ever be released commercially. Ars points to the company's history of killing projects internally. We are hopeful Deckard will one day be able to make it on the market, given that Deckard has already released a VR headset and is about to release its own handheld console.