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Valve will sell ‘far fewer’ Index VR headsets due to coronavirus outbreak

The outbreak of coronoavirus, officially called Covid-19, has been the cause of a range of issues in the tech world, from the canceling of MWC to Apple announcing it is unlikely to meet its quarterly forecasts. Now, it is impacting the production of hardware as well, with Valve announcing that it will have “far fewer” units of its Index VR headset available to purchase.

“With Half-Life: Alyx coming on March 23, we are working hard to meet demand for the Valve Index and want to reassure everyone that Index systems will be available for purchase prior to the game’s launch,” a Valve spokesperson said in a statement given to Road to VR. “However, the global coronavirus health crisis has impacted our production schedules so we will have far fewer units for sale during the coming months compared to the volumes we originally planned. Our entire team is working hard right now to maximize availability.”

Valve also reminded customers that they can sign up to be notified when Index hardware comes back into stock on the Index Steam page. To get notifications for availability, you can head to the Index Steam page and click “Notify Me” next to any piece of hardware to be informed once it is available for purchase.

Keeping Valve Index in stock has been an ongoing challenge, especially given the enthusiasm of Half-Life fans. When Valve’s upcoming title Half-Life: Alyx was announced as a VR exclusive in November last year, the Index headset sold out within a week. Access to the upcoming title was given away for free to anyone who purchased an Index device before the end of 2019, which drove up sales.

All of this interest added up to over 100,000 Index devices being sold, making Valve Index the bestselling PC VR headset of the last quarter of 2019. And there was another jump in demand last week, when the release date for Half-Life: Alyx was announced for March 23. But even with the renewed interest in the device, the hardware continues to be almost impossible to buy right now.

For those who are desperate to play the game, the good news is that it is compatible with all VR headsets for the PC, so you can play it on an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, among others. But if you’re waiting for the chance to play on an Index, getting your hands on the hardware may be a challenge.

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