Half-Life: Alyx Announcement Trailer Valve

Late last week, Valve finally debuted a new installment for is acclaimed first-person shooter franchise. However, it was apparently not as what fans expected but still made a big buzz among the gaming industry. "Half-Life: Alyx" is a game where players step into the shoes of Alyx Vance as she and her dad fend of the oppressive Combine to save humanity. While it does sound like your typical FPS fare, this time players can only play it in virtual reality. Thankfully, Black Friday 2019 is here and retailers are giving great discounts for some VR headsets.

VR technology is still growing and admittedly still has more room for improvement, but most of the modern offerings are already quite capable. Please note that there are certain models that require ample space to set up the base stations for tracking movements in the virtual space, while others rely on a set of cameras to map out the surrounds. These are some of the factors to consider before choosing the VR headset that best fits the user's requirements.

While there are some models in the market that offer standalone functionality, these are regrettably not compatible with "Half-Life: Alyx." Valve confirms that its first VR-only release is a full-length title and will not offer a short virtual reality experience type of gameplay. PC Gamer would like to remind consumers that the game is going to be free for those who have the Index VR headset. Sadly, there seems to be no Black Friday deal associated with the bundle and word is that it is currently sold out.

Vive Pro Starter Kit ($799)

Normally retailing for $1,099, the Vive Pro starter kit comes with the VR headset, two base stations, and two controllers. What is great about this model is the built-in headphones. This makes it capable of outputting Hi-Res 3D spatial audio for more immersive gameplay. Moreover, HTC designed it with a clear focus on comfort for prolonged usage.

Vive Cosmos ($599)

If the Vive Pro Starter Kit's price still seems prohibitive, the Vive Cosmos is ready to meet all expectations. HTC is taking $100 off the sticker price for Black Friday to make it even more attractive. Perhaps its best selling point is the modular capability it brings to the table. Accessories are sold separately, and costs could go up with optional add-ons.

Oculus Rift S ($349)

Those who want a more affordable, yet feature-packed alternative can get the Oculus Rift S for $50 off the retail price. While the discount might not be that big, this VR headset features inside-out tracking which does not require the use of base stations. The set includes everything users need to get started.

It should be noted that these Black Friday discounts are exclusively being offered by the manufacturers. Some retailers might have additional deals in place, so buyers are encouraged to check them out.

VR headsets are just one of the requirements to play "Half-Life: Alyx" and gamers should know that a powerful PC or gaming laptop will be required to run the hardware and software. Black Friday seems like the best time to get all of these.

Valve Index availability in Japan and Canada
Valve confirms plans to sell the Index VR headset in Japan and Canada, with more countries to come in the future. Photo: Valve