Oculus Rift S Now Out of Stock Across the Globe 2 Days to Half-Life: Alyx Launch
Users who were counting on the Oculus Rift S headset as an alternative to the Valve Index headset for the highly anticipated launch of Half-Life: Alyx are now out of luck as the Rift S headset is now officially sold out across the globe.
Half-Life: Alyx launches on March 23.
Up until last week, the Oculus Rift S headset was still in stock. It was available in areas of the world where users could only order the headset directly from Oculus. These are countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.
As of today, the Oculus Rift S headset is out of stock in virtually every supported country. Only a few Oculus Quest headsets are still available in a few holdout markets. However, it is still possible to purchase the Rift S headset from independent retailers but even these are likely to be snapped up quickly as COVID-19 quarantines take effect throughout the world. Many will be looking for distractions from experiences such as virtual reality.
The coronavirus pandemic has also caused massive disruption in the supply chain in China and it is still uncertain when we are likely to see the stocks replenished. If the situation and disruptions persist, it would most certainly take months to have the headsets back in stock.
Half-Alyx: Alyx lands in just under 48 hours amidst great angst occasioned by the global pandemic. The game will be available on all the SteamVR-compatible virtual reality headsets. This will be the first Half-Life game in more than 13 years so there is lots of anticipation from avid fans as well as new fans eager to try it out.
After the Valve Index ran out of stock, the Oculus Rift S headset has been one of the most recommended VR headset alternatives for Half-Life: Alyx. The Rift S delivers one of the best price-performance ratios in the market, a factor that might have driven the last-minute buying rush in the past few days.
Some of the most promising places to find the Rift S headsets at the moment are with the independent sellers on both eBay and Amazon. However, expect a spike in price. You will definitely pay a handsome markup instead of the regular $399 price tag.
Alternatively, you can go for the other SteamVR-compatible virtual reality headsets that are still available such as: –
HTC Vive Cosmos and Cosmos Elite
The Cosmos family of headsets represents one of the best alternatives for Half-Life: Alyx. There is the HTC Vive Cosmos, which at $700, is a bit on the pricey end although it is still cheaper than the Valve Index headset. The drawback with the Vive Cosmos is its finicky inside-out tracking functionality as well as its motion controllers that consume slightly more power. The upside is the modular faceplate.
There is also the Vive Cosmos Elite which comes with a premium price tag. However, it offers superior tracking thanks to its included SteamVR faceplate as well as its 1.0 base stations. At $900, it is priced at almost the same price as the Valve Index though it is slightly cheaper than the HTC Vive Pro. However, the Vive Cosmos Elite comes with a free Half-Life: Alyx code in the box that will somewhat offset the steep price tag.
HTC Vive Pro
While the HTC Vive Pro will soon be phased out alongside HTC’s standalone Vive Focus headset, the headset is still available so you can purchase it for Half-Life: Alyx. The HTC Vive Pro is a costlier package. The all-in-one package goes for $1,200 but as far as the construction, performance and functionality goes, it is pretty solid.
However, like the Cosmos Elite, the Vive Pro still relies on the 2016-era Vive wands. You can interchange these with the Valve Index controllers later on for a price of $200.
You can also purchase VR hardware outside the mainstream headset brands. Pimax has a series of headset models with typically large FOV. Pimax also has a more dynamic range. Its headsets change almost every six months.
One of the best Pimax headset bundles is the one for Pimax 5K XR which gives an all-in-one package for a price of just $1,100. The package includes not only the headset but also one pair of Index controllers, two SteamVR 2.0 base stations along with a Half-Life: Alyx code.
Pimax $450 entry-level virtual reality headset, the Artisan, is already out of stock.
You can also use an Oculus Quest headset with a VR-ready PC via the Oculus Link cable. If you can wait for 8 weeks, you can order the Valve Index headset now. A Windows Mixed Reality headset such as the Samsung Odyssey+ would also suffice.
If you are buying a used virtual reality headset, ensure that you sanitize it thoroughly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.