Valve's reportedly getting ready to move on to a future VR headset with development also underway on improved controllers according to a patent.
The patent application clearly shows new controllers for the unannounced Valve VR headset, complete with what appears to be a detachable hand strap. It's also thought that there is going to be a change in the way the accompanying headset tracks things in the environment, too.
The layout of the controllers looks similar to Meta's Quest 2 controllers including the overall stick and button layout, with Valve seemingly doing away with the touchpad that was used on its previous-gen version. That detachable hand strap appears to be designed to allow the controller to remain in place even when the user isn't gripping it, perhaps so that they can throw items in-game without lobbing their controller across the room.
This figure has stark differences than the rest of the images. It has the ring going down similarly to PS VR 2 controllers. It also shows a system button.
— Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) November 22, 2022
The new layout also seems to be specifically designed to ensure that finger tracking is as strong as possible. The fingers will always lie over the finger-tracking sensors no matter how big or small a user's hands happen to be, all thanks to two straps.
However, it's always important to remember that patents don't necessarily turn into shipping products. Valve has indeed teased that there is a new VR headset on the horizon, but this patent could be for a version of its controllers that never ship. Companies like Valve often patent just about everything its engineers come up with, in turn leaving many of them on the cutting room floor.