Valve’s first flagship VR title, Half-Life: Alyx, is now set to launch on March 23rd however sadly the corporate’s Index VR headset remains to be nearly unattainable to purchase direct. Within the meantime, the scarcity has seen secondary markets promoting the headset at a 150% worth premium.
Valve Index Inventory Examine
Following up on our international inventory verify again in January, our newest verify of Valve Index inventory right now reveals that issues have gone from unhealthy to barely worse.
There’s 155 ‘region-SKUs’ between the 31 areas the place offered and 5 Index SKUs. Of these 155 region-SKUs, solely a single one is obtainable (down from two at our final verify). That may be the Headset-only bundle offered in Japan:
For the final month, Valve’s Index retailer pages have advised clients “we’re busy catching up with demand for Valve Index!” and allowed customers to join an electronic mail notification when there’s new inventory.
The place’s the Bottleneck?
Whereas we would anticipate that Index inventory would proceed to slowly trickle out of Valve’s manufacturing operation, we haven’t heard any experiences of shoppers being notified of latest inventory, making it seem to be manufacturing might have even been halted fully.
However why? One thought is that Valve could also be revamping its manufacturing line (and even shifting it to a bigger facility) to help the greater-than-expected demand.
Whereas Oculus stated final week that the Coronavirus would make it even more durable to purchase its Quest headset as a result of sickness’ affect on its China-based manufacturing operation, Valve has not indicated any affect associated to the outbreak. Our understanding is that Valve producers Index within the US, nonetheless it’s seemingly that a few of its elements are of Chinese language origin.
Valve advised us final month that it was “working onerous to construct extra models and meet the excessive demand. We’re focusing on to be again in inventory earlier than Half-Life: Alyx ships.”
As we speak in a string of tweets concerning the sport’s launch date, the final sentence of the final tweet learn, “we can have extra data on upcoming Valve Index availability quickly.”
Resale Worth as an Indicator of Demand
With the official gross sales channel utterly offered out, excessive demand signifies that secondary market sellers are capable of enhance costs to promote to these keen to pay greater than the producer’s steered retail worth (MSRP) in an effort to safe a scarce merchandise. In aggressive marketplaces like Ebay, seeing how a lot the headset is promoting for offers us an thought of Index’s ‘true worth’; an economist would possibly say that the value patrons are paying on these secondary markets is a extra correct reflection of Index’s equilibrium worth (the purpose the place provide meets demand) than the MSRP below these explicit circumstances.
Index hardware is commanding someplace within the neighborhood of a 150% worth premium on secondary markets. On Ebay US, accomplished listings of the Index ‘Full Equipment’ ($1,000 MSRP) have offered for a mean of $1,500 within the final week, with some promoting for as a lot as $1,935. Amazon has proven comparable costs in latest weeks, however solely reveals presents and never accomplished transactions.