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Like other headsets, the Valve Index has been in high demand but limited supply due to the Coronavirus pandemic. While we’ve seen stock of Oculus Quest and Rift starting to return to availability over the last few months, Index has been backordered globally. Though it’s still backordered, the queues have continued to shrink. Meanwhile, the tracking Base Stations—the linchpin of the ‘Full Kit’ Index package—have finally returned to stock after months of being unavailable.
We checked stock availability for all Index packages across all 31 regions where sold. Our last check in late August showed that backorder queues for some packages had continued to shrink, with the ‘Headset + Controllers’ package shipping within 2–4 weeks and the ‘Controllers’ package in 3–5 weeks.
Our latest check shows further improvements, with the ‘Controllers’ package now expected to ship in 2–4 weeks (down from 3–5) and, for the first time in months, the ‘Base Station’ package is back in stock and expected to ship in 2 weeks or less.
While the ‘Full Kit’ and ‘Headset’ packages still aren’t expected to ship for 8 weeks or more, the return of Base Stations are a likely sign that’s about to change. The ‘Full Kit’ package includes the Base Stations, which means the length of its backorder queue is interlinked with the availability of the Base Stations. Now that the Base Stations are coming back into stock, it could well signal that the ‘Full Kit’ is soon to catch up.
That’s good news almost across the board, but unfortunately all packages of the headset remain sold out in Japan.
“We are continuing to make every effort possible to keep up with the ongoing demand and deliver units in a timely fashion, while navigating the challenges of shipping during the pandemic. We appreciate everyone’s patience, and we’ll let you know when we have more specifics to share,” a Valve spokesperson told Road to VR earlier this year.
Index had been backordered by eight weeks or more in all regions since a small supply of new stock was gobbled up just before Half-Life: Alyx launched in late March. This month is the first time since that the ‘Base Station’ package has been available at all, and that any of the Index packages have had a shipping estimate of two weeks or less.
Despite the backorders, it’s still possible to register your interest in any of the Index packages. To reserve a spot in line, check out the Index store page and click the order button.
Valve is then sending out notifications by email when stock is available, giving customers one week to pull the trigger. Even so, when offered the option to buy, no specific estimate for delivery is provided, leaving customers wondering how long they’ll be waiting.
Like other headsets, the Chinese-manufactured Index saw a double-whammy this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic: supply decreasing due to manufacturing disruptions and demand increasing due to shelter-in-place orders in many parts of the globe.
Oculus had been in the same boat; in the last month however we’ve seen Oculus steadily beating back its Quest and Rift S backorders, showing that manufacturing of the headset has picked up significant steam. When Index which will the same level of availability isn’t clear, but we’ve got our eye on the situation.
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