Does Valve Make Money on the Index?

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By Monica Bates

Valve’s Index is a virtual reality (VR) headset that has been gaining popularity among gamers and VR enthusiasts. As with any product, there has been speculation about whether Valve actually makes money on the Index. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the components of the Index and Valve’s pricing strategy to determine if the company is making a profit on its VR headset.

Components of the Index

Before we dive into the financials, it’s important to understand what goes into making the Index. The headset itself features two LCD screens with a resolution of 1440×1600 pixels per eye, as well as built-in headphones and microphones. The controllers are designed to be held in each hand and feature tracking sensors, haptic feedback, and an array of buttons.

Index Pricing

At launch, Valve priced the full Index package at $999. This includes the headset, two controllers, and two base stations for room-scale tracking. Valve also offers individual components for purchase separately: the headset for $499, controllers for $279 (or $149 each), and base stations for $149 each.

The Cost of Manufacturing

While Valve has not released specific information about its manufacturing costs for the Index, some estimates have been made based on analysis of similar VR headsets on the market. According to an analysis by IHS Markit Technology in 2019, it was estimated that it cost around $450 to manufacture each Index unit.

Valve’s Profit Margin

Based on these estimates, it would seem that Valve is making a profit on each full Index package sold at its launch price of $999. However, this doesn’t take into account other factors such as research and development costs or marketing expenses.

It’s also worth noting that Valve has made some adjustments to its pricing strategy since the launch of the Index. In March 2020, the company announced a $100 price reduction for the full package, bringing it down to $899. This suggests that Valve may have been able to make some cost-saving changes in its manufacturing process or is simply trying to make the Index more accessible to a wider audience.


While we can’t say for certain how much money Valve is making on each Index unit sold, it does seem likely that the company is turning a profit on its VR headset. However, it’s important to remember that there are many other costs associated with producing and marketing a product like this, so we can’t assume that Valve’s profit margin is high.

Overall, the success of the Index has likely been a positive development for Valve as it continues to expand its offerings in the gaming and VR markets.