A new Half-Life game is pushing VR hardware sales in a big way.
Valve Index VR

According to a number of reports, VR headsets are sold out across multiple retailers. The big push for VR purchases came first with the reveal of Half-Life: Alyx. Another big push came when the Oculus Link cable officially went on sale.

As of right now, the Oculus Quest has been sold out across several online retailers since before Christmas. The Oculus website shows that new orders of both the $399 (USD) 64GB version or the $499 (USD) 128GB version will ship by February 21 and February 24 respectively. Demand for the stand-alone VR headset really started to pick up around Christmas. Obviously, there were increased sales due to the holiday, but there were some extra factors thrown in this year.

First off, the big one is the fact that a new Half-Life game is coming and it's going to be a VR only title. As of right now, Half-Life: Alyx is still slated to be released in March 2020. This is assuming the usual Valve delays don't come into play before then. Another big factor for the increased sales is the fact that the $79 Oculus Link cable was released.

Though the Quest is a fully function stand-alone VR headset, the Oculus Link cable allows a user to connect their headset to a powerful gaming PC. This means that you can now also use the Quest paired with a computer for access to an even larger gaming library. It essentially turns the Quest into a "best of both worlds" headset for VR fans that don't care too much about having the highest fidelity visuals. The fact that it's usually a wireless experience makes it so that the Oculus Quest is something you get to really show off what VR can be to your friends and family.

Unfortunately, even the Oculus Link is currently sold out through the official storefront. It doesn't even offer up a "ship by" date when adding it to your cart. However, UploadVR suggests that orders will begin again in early 2020 for the Oculus Link.

Oculus Rift S, the more "traditional" tethered VR headset from Facebook, currently has a "ship by" date of January 16. It's still not an immediate shipment, but it's a full month+ earlier than the Quest ship by dates. You may even be able to find these on sale at other retailers with earlier ship dates. Just keep in mind that the Rift S is a fully wired VR headset, just as the Oculus Rift (CV1) was before it. You will need to connect the Rift S to a VR capable PC in order to use it at all.

Outside of Oculus, it seems as though Valve is also having a real rough go at keeping up with the increased demand for their Index headset. The Valve Index store page currently lists every single component, bundle, and kit as "Notify Me" instead of offering the ability to purchase The Index quickly went from immediately "available" for purchase near the announcement of Half-Life: Alyx, to becoming more and more delayed as the days went on. Sales of the Index eventually got so far backordered that shipments were actually encroaching on the March 2020 release window of Half-Life: Alyx.

Valve eventually just had to temporarily pull the ability to purchase while they rush to meet the increased demand. It seems as though the hefty $999.00 price tag for the full Valve Index VR Kit isn't too high of a bar for what is arguably the best VR kit currently on the market.

The good news is that Half-Life: Alyx will work with a variety of headsets besides the ones mentioned above that are currently sold out. Half-Life: Alyx will work with existing HTC Vive models, the older Oculus Rift (CV1) headset, and Windows Mixed Reality sets like the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ or HP Reverb.