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 unimaginable 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 at this time reveals that issues have gone from dangerous 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 out there (down from two at our final verify). That might be the Headset-only package deal 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 enroll in an electronic mail notification when there’s new inventory.
The place’s the Bottleneck?
Whereas we’d count on that Index inventory would proceed to slowly trickle out of Valve’s manufacturing operation, we haven’t heard any stories of consumers being notified of latest inventory, making it seem to be manufacturing could have even been halted fully.
However why? One thought is that Valve could also be revamping its manufacturing line (and even transferring it to a bigger facility) to assist the greater-than-expected demand.
Whereas Oculus stated final week that the Coronavirus would make it even tougher to purchase its Quest headset because of the 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, nevertheless it’s seemingly that a few of its elements are of Chinese language origin.
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Valve advised us final month that it was “working arduous to construct extra items and meet the excessive demand. We’re concentrating on to be again in inventory earlier than Half-Life: Alyx ships.”
In the present day 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 implies that secondary market sellers are capable of improve costs to promote to these prepared to pay greater than the producer’s recommended retail worth (MSRP) with the intention to safe a scarce merchandise. In aggressive marketplaces like Ebay, seeing how a lot the headset is promoting for provides 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 underneath these specific circumstances.
Index is commanding someplace within the neighborhood of a 150% worth premium on secondary markets. On Ebay US, accomplished listings of the Index ‘Full Package’ ($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 related costs in latest weeks, however solely reveals provides and never accomplished transactions.
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