Valve today confirmed that the Coronavirus outbreak has impacted production of the Index VR headset and other hardware. While the company tells us it still expects that new stock will be available ahead of the launch of Half-Life: Alyx on March 23rd, there will be “far fewer units” than the company had anticipated.

Valve is the second major VR company following Facebook to confirm that the Coronavirus outbreak has impacted the availability of its Index headset. While demand was already high with the looming launch of Half-Life: Alyx, the illness has constrained supply, the company told Road to VR in a statement today.

“With Half-Life: Alyx coming March 23rd, we are working hard to meet demand for the Valve Index and want to reassure everyone that Index systems will be available for purchase prior to the game’s launch,” a Valve spokesperson said. “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 maximize availability.”

The company reiterated that customers can visit the Index page on Steam to sign up for an email notification when the headset returns to stock.

Index has been out of stock globally for weeks now, but the company hasn’t said until now that the Coronavirus was expected to constrict supply.

Valve's Gabe Newell: 'We're excited to return to Half-Life, VR has energized the studio'

The Coronavirus, a novel respiratory virus, began in China with the first reported case on December 31st, 2019; health organizations have since designated the strain as ‘COVID-19’ for specificity. The virus has seen more than 75,000 confirmed cases and 2,100 deaths, according to the latest information from the World Health Organization. While COVID-19 has spread to 27 other countries to date, 99% of cases have been confined to China which is a key manufacturing hub for VR headsets and related hardware.

Facebook and Sony today announced they won’t be attending the annual GDC conference in San Francisco next month over Coronavirus concerns. GDC has historically been a key event for Valve’s VR efforts as well; the company hasn’t yet said anything about its GDC attendance being impacted by the virus.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Immersive Computing

    This is impacting RMA’s too? Waited 2 weeks for replacement tether which is causing sparkling, 2nd time it’s developed this fault.

    Now being told “out of stock” and no ETA by Steam support.

  • Zbyszek

    Can’t they do GDC over the internet? Are we still living in the XX century?

    • Harold T

      They’ll attend in VR….with the headsets we can’t buy….

  • Twa Corbies

    “The Coronavirus, a novel respiratory virus […]”
    Coronaviruses are not novel. It’s only 2019 ncov that is new.

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  • RockstarRepublic

    The hype period has already cooled, a lot of people who were ready to buy it will probably be less impulsive this time around and thus hold off, myself included.

    • marvygarvy408

      The hype will re-ignite once the game releases. Assuming the game scores high on reviews