Valve has revealed a March 23 release date for Half-Life: Alyx, the series’ first foray into virtual reality, but the company’s Index headset is still sold out practically everywhere.
Half-Life: Alyx, as its title suggests, will allow players to play as Alyx Vance, who was first seen in Half-Life 2. The game’s events will take place between the first Half-Life and the sequel, when the alien race known as the Combine is already in control of the Earth, with the human population being rounded up.
While delays in video game releases have become normal in the industry, Valve is sticking with the promised March release window for Half-Life: Alyx.
— Valve (@valvesoftware) February 13, 2020
Players will be able to enjoy a 10% discount off the $60 price tag of the virtual reality exclusive if they pre-order it. Half-Life: Alyx is actually free for those who are able to purchase the Valve Index VR headset, but unfortunately, the device’s stocks are still sold out.
The demand for the Valve Index soared during last year’s holiday season, partly due to the draw of the new Half-Life game, and the supply has not been able to recover since then.
According to Road to VR’s latest check of Valve Index stock, the VR headset is still pretty much impossible to buy directly. The full package, which includes the headset, controllers, and base station, remains sold out across the 31 countries where the Valve Index is officially listed. The only way available to buy the device is through the headset-only option in Japan.
Road to VR has not received reports of customers being notified of new stock, which means that manufacturing of the Valve Index may have stopped entirely. A possibility is that Valve is revamping the manufacturing process or moving production to a bigger facility to be able to support the demand for the VR headset. The coronavirus outbreak may also play a role, as some components of the device may be coming from China to be assembled in the U.S.
There is a silver lining to the supply shortage of the Valve Index though, especially if it is seen as a result of the hype for Half-Life: Alyx.
Valve programmer David Speyrer previously hinted in an interview that depending on the success of Half-Life: Alyx, the studio may work on more Half-Life games. With what appears to be massive interest in the Half-Life: Alyx, will Valve finally consider pushing forward with Half-Life 3?
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