Up For Debate – Will you buy a VR headset for Half-Life Alyx?
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The dust has had plenty of time to settle. We’re getting a new Half-Life, of that we’re now certain. Half-Life: Alyx probably isn’t what most people were dreaming of when they thought of a successor to Half-Life 2 though. Valve has been very careful to sidestep any potential pitfalls both by not calling it Half-Life 3 and making it a prequel. This was a very deliberate move designed to realign our expectations, to reinforce the fact that while yes, this is a new AAA Half-Life product, it’s not quite the sequel you were expecting.
Which leaves us with a hotly anticipated game designed first and foremost designed to sell Valve Index headsets. Valve doesn’t particularly care about sales of Half-Life Alyx itself. It’s already taking 30% off every other game sold on Steam, the sales of Half-Life Alyx will be a drop in the ocean. No, they want a must-have reason for Steam users to dispense with anywhere up to $999 for the hardware needed to play the game. Once you’re in, you’re in. Anyone who’s just spent a grand on a virtual reality headset is sure as shit going to spend a heap more money on games to try and maximise its perceived ‘value’. You can opt for a cheaper VR alternative of course, yet the further you stray from the Index, the further you stray from Half-Life: Alyx as Valve intended.
Yet there’s a very, very big jump between being interested in playing a new Half-Life and buying a $999 VR setup so you play the aforementioned game. There is no bridging this gap aside from the eventual quality of Half-Life: Alyx – you either think it’s worth it, or it isn’t. That didn’t stop Valve Index headsets selling out around the world shortly after the announcement of Half-Life Alyx though.
If Half-Life Alyx comes along and it’s scoring 9’s and 10’s like it’s going out of fashion, it all becomes a tempting proposition. If it’s just a teleporting VR shooter experience with some high-end polish though? That thing could single-handedly kill off the hope of another Half-Life.
By now you’ve probably all seen the trailer. If you haven’t, here it is. It certainly looks the part, although there are definitely a few lingering questions about how it plays and whether it is indeed advancing VR as a platform.
With all that you know and all that you’ve seen, do you think you’re going to take the plunge and pick up a VR headset for Half-Life: Alyx? Or is it simply too much to ask without other quality VR software to back it up? Get voting and let us know why below!