Rumour has it that the Valve Index will be back in stock on Monday, March 9th, and Valve expect their VR headsets to sell right back out the same day. They sold out months ago and manufacturing has been disrupted by the Covid-19 virus, see, and now demand is extra high thanks to the impending launch of Half-Life: Alyx. I am surprised to learn demand is so high that some people plan to stuff their Steam Wallets in advance with enough store credit to buy one outright (that's £919, cashcounters), to reduce the risk of checkout hiccups making them miss their chance. Wild. Wild times.
The rumourmongers of the unofficial and unaffiliated Steam Database claimed last night to have the skinny on the restock:
Valve Index VR kits will be available for purchase on March 9th starting at 10 AM PDT (5 PM UTC).— SteamDB (@SteamDB) March 3, 2020
Due to high demand, Valve expects available stock to sell out on Monday.#HalfLifeAlyx #ValveIndex #VR #VirtualReality
Valve have said no such thing publicly and the source of the supposed leak is unknown, but the possibility is enough to get Index-wanters twitching.
So great are concerns that Index will sell out instantly (with fears of scalpers riding high) that I've seen folks on Reddit's Valve Index board (e.g. in this thread) gab about stocking their Steam Wallet with enough credit to buy an Index kit outright. The reasoning is that if you have the credit right there on Steam, you face no extra checkout steps where cards or PayPal could potentially run into technical problems. When demand is so high, who knows how long you have? So some plan to prepare by stuffing £919 of real money into their Steam Wallet.
I don't know if it's a sensible plan or not. The author of one Reddit thread is so alarmed by the trend and the risks they see in this plan that they implore people not to. Others disagree with their points. I must say the very thought of it gives me the fear. £919 in Steam credit!
My Steam Wallet basically holds Monopoly money. I have 46p left of my fund for the occasional Dota hat or Counter-Strike gun. Mind you, I would be delighted to hear of anyone earning £919 in credit by selling wizard hats, gun skins, trading cards, and other collectable detritus on the Steam Community Market. People who bought Steam gift cards discounted, yeah, you get a small round of applause too. But I did still just involuntarily mutter "Oh no" while imagining seeing "£919" in the top-right corner of my Steam window.
Half-Life: Alyx is due to launch on March 23rd. Until then, you can watch Valve's new Alyx gameplay videos - and do pay close attention to its excellent shotgun reload animation. If you're already blessed with cybergoggles, know that Valve will release two Alyx-y SteamVR Home locations today for Index owners. And hey, maybe you'll want to play Half-Life in VR with mods like our Graham currently is. Or just play some of the best VR games.
£919 would be so many wizard hats.