It seems that Half-Life: Alyx may have had a far greater impact with its trailer reveal than most would have expected, as the Valve’s Index VR headset has sold out in both Canada and the United States. This even more surprising and impressive as the hardware had no discounts with the arrival off Black Friday, but that does not appear to have mattered to consumers.
As reported by Road to VR, all available stock is exhausted and interested consumers will only see a message indicating that stock will be replenished “soon.” The hardware, which is by no means inexpensive, appears to be in far higher demand than Valve anticipated, though this should not come as too great of a surprise, as the push to VR grows each day, and reveals for games like Half-Life: Alyx serve to nudge prospective users over the edge.
Apart from Half-Life: Alyx, there is already a healthy library of high-quality titles on Steam to choose from. Some of the most well-known titles include Beat Saber, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, Superhot VR, Fallout 4 VR, Creed: Rise to Glory, and many more. These games are currently heavily discounted as well for the autumn sale, so those consumers who did manage to order the Index VR hardware may be stocking up on games now while they are priced so low.
This existing library of games might have lured some consumers into VR in the past, while the trailer for Half-Life: Alyx likely brought in even more users. This is because bit by bit, VR games have been gaining more credibility in their quality, but some consumers may have been unsure if companies would stick with the format in the long-term. In the same way that some potential Google Stadia users may be turned off by Google’s history of scrapping projects that are not immediately successful, others may be spurred forward to trust Valve and the long-term viability of the VR format as they commit to a game like Half-Life: Alyx.
In any case, the shortage of hardware inventory should be rectified soon. Currently inventory in other countries like the United Kingdom appears to be normal, and only North America is lacking in the availability of Index hardware.