In late 2019, fans who have been begging Valve for a sequel to the beloved "Half-Life" franchise were treated to a pleasant surprise. It was nothing anyone expected, which made it so controversial but in a good way. Instead of a follow-up to the last installment, what the developers presented was a prequel and it was for virtual reality platforms as well. Sales of major VR headset brands quickly skyrocketed as noted by analysts and the Valve Index quickly sold out. Now, supply chains sources doubt the restocks will not make in time for the release of "Half-Life: Alyx" due to the Wuhan coronavirus.
While there are alternatives available, the demand for Valve's own product is higher thanks to the game being given away for free to Index owners. Therefore, shortly after the announcement of the new title, existing supplies of the VR headset were sold out almost immediately. The company even opened outlets for new territories that previously did not offer the product officially.
Now, as the manufacturing arm of China is affected by the virus outbreak, resupplying the exhausted inventory might be difficult in the next few months. The Valve Index is not the only tech product that is affected by shortages. Even top brands such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, and others are affected by the Wuhan coronavirus scare. A report published by UploadVR indicates that while there will be stocks shipped out, it will not be enough to for gamers who want to play "Half-Life: Alyx" upon launch.
Valve reportedly issued a statement which offered an explanation for the shortages. "With Half-Life: Alyx coming March 23rd, we are working hard to meet the demand for the Valve Index and want to reassure everyone that Index systems will be available for purchase prior to the game's launch," it reads.
"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 maximise availability," it continued. For now, consumers who are still interested to purchase the Valve Index and get "Half-Life: Alyx" for free, can sign up for notifications on Steam.