Gabe Newell: Valve Index Backlog Improving, Heavy Disruption Remains
2020 was the year of the Valve Index being majorly backlogged, with some users facing months to wait before their orders could be fulfilled. Things now are improving, but significant issues remain.
2020 was the year of the Valve Index... facing a MAJOR backlog of orders. Back in November we reported that some users were having to wait more than two months for their order to be fulfilled, and that's where the product was actually available for shipping.
It's now 2021, so naturally things have started to improve. But Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has confirmed that although stocks are beginning to recover, COVID-19 continues to play havoc with production and distribution.
Speaking to a 1 News, a media organisation from New Zealand, Gaben touched on the issues Valve is facing getting the product to market in the country. Like literally everything else, you'll be unsurprised to hear that the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame.
We actually have components that are manufactured in Wuhan and when you're setting up your manufacturing lines it doesn't occur to you that you're suddenly going to be dependent on this peculiar transistor that's sitting on one board that you can't get.
Newell also explained that other large companies were competing for the same components, exasperating shortages that have slowed down Index distribution:
Everybody ended up running into the same problem simultaneously — you go from, 'Oh, we're in great shape,' to, 'What do you mean Apple or Microsoft just bought the next two years' supply of this just so they could make sure they aren't going to run out?'
However, Newell reaffirmed Valve's commitment to shipping in New Zealand, explaining that "the only thing keeping us [from doing it] at this point is just getting enough of them made - we're very much manufacturing constrained."
This news comes as the Index continues to face huge backlogs wherever it's available. The Full Kit and individual Headset & Controllers are facing 2 week delays pretty much everywhere, while the Headset + Controllers bundle and Base Station are generally Out of Stock. If you'd like to find out what the waits are like in your region, RoadToVR have a handy chart which has been updated as recently as last week.
It's certainly a bad week for news about delays. Only yesterday did we discover that the new Horde Mode for The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners has been delayed for Oculus Quest.