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!