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Valve Prism is not the VR headset we have been waiting for

Any notion of the Valve Prism being the next VR headset from the Steam Deck manufacturer is rooted only in an entirely virtual reality.

The now understood to be fake Valve Prism VR headset against an orange background

It has been almost five years since Valve launched its Index VR headset, with nary a sign of a successor in sight. For a brief moment, the Valve Prism looked like the successor we had all been waiting for but that reality, sadly, is entirely virtual.

Despite its age, the Valve Index still ranks among the best VR headsets on the market today. However, impressive as the accuracy of its finger tracking controllers remain, the Index is noticeably behind the times in other respects. Innovations in virtual reality technology show no signs of slowing and competition in the space continues to heat up, and Valve is well overdue in revealing its plans if it wants to stay competitive.

Enter Valve Prism. On the surface, this seems like the Deckard headset that we have long heard rumors about. The website for the headset largely adheres to the stylings seen on Valve’s Steam Deck product pages, and deceptively detailed renderings, specs charts, and more.

Alas, it is nothing more than an elaborate hoax.

Look past the sheen, though, and the sham reveals itself. Whether it is the more subtle indications like the unrealistic inclusion of 32GB of RAM, or the more obvious, but well hidden, clues such as the website’s attribution to the VaIve Corporation. If that was not enough, Valve has confirmed that this is indeed fakery at large in a statement to PC Gamer.

This turn of events stings all the more following the wild success of both the Steam Deck LCD and Steam Deck OLED. While there is no guarantee that Valve can translate the expertise and success its enjoyed with its handheld gaming PCs  into a new VR headset, it is hard not to see the company go from one win to another right now. If nothing else, there is no other body that seems as capable of challenging Meta in the virtual reality space than Valve.

Whether a successor to the Index takes a form closer to its predecessor or leans more towards the design of the Quest 3 remains to be seen, but I certainly hope it is the latter. While Valve may not need to launch a new VR headset, we as consumers arguably are in need of true competition to Meta’s offerings. After all, “the right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.”

In the meantime, check out our Quest 3 review to learn more about what a Valve Index successor needs to compete with.