Valve Index VR Headsets Sold Out Thanks to ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Hype
Half-Life: Alyx was announced last week and it is already having a massive impact on the Valve Index headset sales. Half-Life: Alyx is the first fully fledged VR game of the gaming mega brand. The game has been designed from ground up for virtual reality and it is therefore available only on virtual reality headsets. VR enthusiasts are hoping for a gaming masterpiece with the release of the first Half-Life after more than a decade. It may sound far-fetched but some industry analysts are even pegging the future of the VR itself on the success of this game.
With the expected release of the heavyweight shooter franchise, the Valve Index headset has already sold out in retail outlets in the US and Canada.
The buying frenzy could be an indication of the potential success of Half-Life: Alyx when it is released in March 2020. It could also end up making virtual reality gaming even more popular. Many US retailers are now indicating that the standalone headset along with the controller and the controller bundle are out of stock and will be “back in stock soon”. Before the announcement of the game, the headset was available in these retail outlets.
From the sales so far, it appears like Half-Life Alyx is doing as was expected, hyping and driving virtual reality adoption. Valve Index is an expensive headset so the fact that it is sold out is an indication that the game is doing an impressive job raising user interest in the experience. For the past few months, the Valve Index headset has been constantly in stock, indicating a low demand for the device before the unveiling of the Half-Life: Alyx. What is even more impressive is that the headset sold out even without the deeply discounted Black Friday deals that were available for other virtual reality headsets.
It is hoped that Half-Life: Alyx will help the market for PC VR games to leap forward and sell the VR headsets. It could as well be the long-awaited killer VR app that could take virtual reality to the mainstream.
The bigger virtual reality market could, in turn, make VR development more interesting for game studios which could potentially make PC VR more than a small hardware niche.
Half-Life: Alyx: – Up to 20% of PC Players Could Switch to VR
With the announcement of Half Life: Alyx, the Valve Index headsets climbed up the Steam Topseller charts.
There is a recent survey in the PC gaming subreddit that outlines the VR purchase intentions of PC players. Approximately 6,850 PC players have participated in the subreddit so far. From the survey, 20% of the respondents stated that they want to purchase a pair of virtual reality headsets for Half-Life. 32% of the respondents stated that they are willing to play Half-Life: Alyx but do not wish to splurge on virtual reality headsets just for the Valve Index game.
The image below shows the results of the survey:-
Valve timed the revelation of Alyx on the eve of Black Friday when many of the other VR headsets, including the lower-end VR headsets, are seeing steep discounts. Half-Life: Alyx also supports these lower end headsets, including the Windows Mixed Reality headsets as well as the Oculus Quest headset which can now be used in a “Quest PC” configuration through an Oculus Link cable.
The timing of the announcement has served the desired effect and created a massive spike of interest in VR which will no doubt usher in new users into VR. Half-Life has been billed as quite the game-changer in VR; an app that has the potential to finally take VR gaming mainstream. Whether it will live to that promise really depends on the quality of the game.