Valve has announced that it is the latest gaming company to fall foul of the coronavirus epidemic.
Production of the company’s Valve Index VR headset and controllers is hitting roadblocks due to the outbreak. Valve expects to ship fewer units than expected in the lead up to the release of VR title, Half-Life: Alyx.
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. 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. To receive a notification as soon as the Valve Index is back in stock, please visit Steam and click “Notify Me.
The Valve Index was already in short supply before today’s news, having sold out almost entirely across the globe in early January. Valve promised more units before the launch of Half-Life: Alyx.
In the wake of the coronavirus, it’s unclear how many units Valve hopes to ship before the release of Half-Life: Alyx. But, the wording of the statement suggests a large portion of would-be players will miss out initially.
Valve isn’t the only gaming hardware manufacturer to see its production hampered by the coronavirus. Earlier this month, Nintendo warned of delays to shipments of the Switch, Joy-Con controllers, and Ring Fit Adventure destined for the Japanese market.
Sony opted to pull out of both PAX East conference and the Game Developers Conference over coronavirus concerns. Facebook Gaming and Oculus followed suit and won’t be attending GDC either.
With the release of the next-generation consoles looming ever closer, there’s speculation that Sony and Xbox’s launch plans may be affected. An extended interruption of the manufacturing supply chain isn’t out of the question. The coronavirus outbreak shows no sign of abating. More cases and deaths are announced daily, both in China and further afield.
Such a volatile situation may lead to a point where the two gaming giants don’t have the time to establish alternatives for complex supply chains capable of pumping out the requisite components in time for the holiday period 2020.