With Valve Index stock a bit on the low side right now, those looking to get a VR headset ahead of the next month's release of Half-Life: Alyx may want to turn their attention to the HTC Vive Pro, as the starter kit bundle is currently £220 cheaper than normal.
Usually £1119, you can now get a Vive Pro headset, two controllers and two base stations for £899. Plus, you also get a free six-month subscription to Viveport Infinity, HTC's VR game, app and video service, which would normally set you back another £77.
Our friends in the US have been able to buy the Vive Pro starter kit for $899 for quite some time now, but this is the first time I've seen the same (ish) price become available in the UK. It's not quite as cheap as the discount it received over Black Friday, admittedly, where its price dropped to £819 / $819, but the good news is that this £899 / $899 price drop is now permanent, so it won't go back up to over a grand any time soon.
Of course, a permanent price drop isn't really that surprising given that HTC announced three new Vive Cosmos headsets last week, the top-end model of which, the Vive Cosmos Elite, is also set to cost £899 / $899 when it launches sometime before the end of next month. Admittedly, you might be better off waiting for the Vive Cosmos Elite in all fairness, as this has a slightly higher resolution display than the Vive Pro (2880x1700 as opposed to the Pro's 2880x1600), and you'll also get two controllers and two base stations in the box. It also comes with the same six-month Viveport Infinity subscription, and you'll get an extra inside-out tracking face plate to turn it into a regular Vive Cosmos for when you don't want / have the space to set up the Elite's base stations.
Of course, HTC hasn't announced an exact release date for the Vive Cosmos Elite yet, so it may not actually arrive before Half-Life: Alyx hits on March 23rd. There's also no telling how much stock will actually be available at launch, or how long it will take to ship out once orders start going through. You can pre-order a Vive Cosmos Elite right now, for example, but with no delivery estimate currently available, there's no telling how long it will take before it arrives on your doorstep.
As a result, those of you who are absolutely adamant about playing Half-Life: Alyx when it comes out may want to consider the Vive Pro. If you're fine waiting a bit, though, then you may want to opt for the Cosmos Elite instead. I'll be testing the Vive Cosmos Elite as soon as review samples are available to see how it stacks up to the Vive Pro, so watch this space for my final verdict.