The $999 Valve Index VR headset sells out in US and Canada after Half-Life Alyx announcement

Written by Neil Soutter on Wed, Jan 15, 2020 3:33 PM
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UPDATE: It seems even Valve may have vastly underestimated the appeal of a new Half-Life. The Valve Index virtual reality headset is now completely sold out in all 31 regions its available in.

Stocks began to run dry when Half-Life Alyx was revealed to the world in December and these only been exacerbated. Supplies of the complete $999 VR Valve Index headset have continued to fly off Steam's digital shelves, leading to a shortage in the run-up to HL Alyx's March 2020 launch.

No matter where you are, head on over to the Valve Index page and you'll be met with a page of 'Notify Me' messages rather than the ability to purchase or back-order. Even all the separate Valve Index Controllers and Base Stations are sold out to boot. The VR well has run truly dry.

“We are working hard to build more units and meet the high demand,” a Valve spokesperson said to Road to VR. “We are targeting to be back in stock before Half-Life: Alyx ships.”

If you're planning to play HL: Alyx at launch and you don't have a Valve Index headset then it's safe to say you're going to need to get organised. Valve doesn't release sales figures for its hardware so we've no idea exactly how many headsets are being sold, although its evidently beyond Valve's own in-house expectations. It's going to be mighty interesting to see just how big a splash Half-Life Alyx makes when it launches in a couple of months' time. Talking of which, a whole bunch of frankly brutal new screenshots for HL Alyx leaked yesterday, so be sure to check them out.

UPDATE: 16-Dec-2019 - The appetite for Valve Index virtual reality headsets shows no sign of abating. Having initially sold out when Half-Life: Alyx was announced, the Valve Index is now either backed up until February 2020 or, in places such as here in the UK, unable to order at all.

It now means the Valve Index, which retails for up $999 for the complete, and necessary, package, is now almost sold out until Half-Life Alyx's March launch. Expect supplies to become even more limited as we creep closer to that release date. 

Those looking to buy a VR headset immediately have been forced to go elsewhere, leading to extinguished stocks of other VR headsets. Afteer an Oculus Rift S in the States? Good luck unless you're happy to pay upwards of $1000 on Amazon, it's sold out everywhere else.

It's a weird situation, and by god it's taken its time to happen, but HL: Alyx appears to be a legitimately huge driver for VR sales. The console manufacturers will be all too aware of the importance of 'exclusives' to drive hardware sales, and Half-Life: Alyx at least appears to be the sort of top-tier, AAA VR experience which we've been waiting for from Valve.

Original Story: 29-Nov-2019 - The $999 Valve Index VR headset sells out in US and Canada after Half-Life Alyx announcement

Half-Life fever has gripped (some of) the globe. Following the announcement of the VR-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx last week, there are increasing reports of the Valve Index virtual reality headset selling out in some regions. 

Considering the Valve Index is £459 to buy on its own, or £919 if you need to go all-in and get the headset, controllers, and base stations, it is no mean feat to sell out of such expensive hardware.  This is fairly indicative of just how a big name title such as Half-Life: Alyx can single-handedly drive hardware sales.

It looks as if the availability of the Valve Index is now going to vary greatly by territory. At the time of writing all the different SKUs of the Valve Index are in stock here in the UK and will be delivered within 4-8 days. It’s not the same story everywhere, though, with plenty of countries such as the US and Canada showing a notification that the Valve Index is sold out. Have no fear though, it will be “Back in Stock” and Valve has said anyone in the States ordering a Valve Index can probably expect to receive it before December 25th.

The Valve Index is available for purchase in a grand total of 31 countries right now, including the US, Canada, Japan, and much of Europe. Sadly, it's still not available everywhere though, most notably in China, Australia, Singapore, South America, Russia, and the entirety of Africa. The only real workaround to playing HL Alyx in these territories is to pick up another brand of VR headset, whether that be the Oculus Rift S or a Windows Mixed Reality headset.

Suffice to say, with the lofty price tag clearly not enough to put plenty of folks off from jumping into VR, we’re definitely not expecting a price drop for the Valve Index any time soon. In particular, the ramp up to Half-Life Alyx’s March launch is sure to be a busy one for new adopters of HMDs.

Has the announcement of Half-Life Alyx raised your interest in picking up a VR headset? Or is the price and hassle of a VR unit still not worth it? Let us know!

Has Half-Life Alyx increased your interest in buying a VR headset?

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13:53 Jan-16-2020

Sold out in ALL 31 countries EXCEPT mine because you can't purchase it in Australia.. GG Valve.

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18:01 Jan-17-2020

think that's the least of your problems now buddy

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04:31 Jan-16-2020

You can buy Index VR here in China on JingDong, it goes for 2958RMB which is roughly 430$ or 385eur for those in Europe.

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16:06 Jan-15-2020

Doesn't matter if the VR headsets sells out. I'm not gonna spend a thousand dollars so that I could play HALF LIFE VR.

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20:16 Jan-15-2020

There are cheaper alternatives. Index is the top tier. But if the only VR game you are interested is in HLA, then yea you can move on.

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20:04 Dec-17-2019

It isn't just Half Life Alyx that has people wanting VR.
Boneworks was just released and a lot of people were waiting on that.

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16:50 Dec-17-2019

To play in VR, you need about 3 things: A PC that meets the requirements of VR, a VR headset and paraphrenalia, and ample room. The formers would need cash to get, while the latter is circumstantial. I would say that VR at this time is just too costly for majority of PC users today, since you need to upgrade your PC as well as buy a VR set that would costs somewhat the same amount as the upgrade, and that doesn't even include the play area VR needs.

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18:33 Dec-16-2019

Lotsa comments here are hating on VR. But then if you can afford VR (PC + Headset) = decent job and don't have time to read gaming news website. I have valve index, but why am I here? Just an entitled kid with rich parents :( - LOVED IT THO

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13:41 Dec-16-2019

I ordered one, but Half Life has nothing to do with my decision.

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13:03 Dec-16-2019

I don't get al the hate for VR sometimes. It's actually a pretty cool way to play a game, especially if that game is done well. Yes it's expensive but so are most "new" things. I Don't see it as a replacement for normal games. Just a new platform with a different experience than conventional gaming. Certainly a more intense experience, especially with horror games.

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07:13 Dec-17-2019

I only hate that there is no normal version announced so in other word it is vr exclusive, something i dont want coming to pc.

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16:10 Jan-15-2020

Some people hate VR because of controls and VR sickness. Not everybody is good at playing VR games.

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16:41 Nov-30-2019

Half life Alyx dont exist for me as i have no interest at all in vr (or maybe because im poor) could be both :P

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13:36 Nov-30-2019

Real questions:
What does "out of stock" mean, exactly..? They could have stocked 10, for all we know, and then the stock runs out, it makes the news, it looks impressive... Realistically, how much stock Valve have of a VR headset for a grand, that naturally will sell slowly due to the price and the fact it's still not a wildly popular piece of tech?

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16:43 Dec-17-2019

Probably the easiest answer would be that the supply of manufactured units ran out, and they haven't produced enough new units to sell them en masse again. They can't sell them as they are made, and they would probably allot more units before they can start selling again.

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09:32 Nov-30-2019

For those that are old enough to remember.


The original PS1 sold like hot cakes when Crash Bandicoot was released.
In essence it was the game that sold the console.


The calculation is a bit harder for the Valve Index, but it's got a shoot.

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11:45 Nov-29-2019

lol I'm not gonna buy VR for 1 game

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12:37 Nov-29-2019

Who says for one game? Other vr games exist besides HL:Alyx.

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13:36 Nov-29-2019

VR has potential but for the time being I don't find any incentive to buy one.

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13:52 Nov-29-2019

I probably will. It's a new HL afterall, but I'll definitely wait until the game is out.

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11:07 Nov-29-2019

NOOOOOO.....

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junior admin badge
09:24 Nov-30-2019

Why the NOOO?


You don't like VR or the new Half Life game?

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10:47 Nov-29-2019

One video game shouldnt really be a (vr) system seller. You need a good vr headset, a decent pc and plenty of room to have a good experience. The hardware and software are honestly still in the beta in my eyes once prices go down(headset) and game developers give me a reason to own one. For now its this niche thing that exists.

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13:14 Nov-29-2019

It goes to show how gamers are willing to throw money for just about anything...I'm honestly not surprised that companies are greedy and are looking to make a profit through all kinds of schemes like loot boxes and mtx. I would too.

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