Beloved PC gaming franchise ‘Half-Life’ is getting a VR revival, but buying a new setup will cost you at least $1,000


“Half-Life: Alyx” will revive one of the most beloved PC gaming franchises of all time in March 2020, but it will only be playable in virtual reality – a costly setback for “Half-Life” fans who haven’t already invested in VR.

Like most blockbuster virtual reality games, “Half-Life: Alyx” will require a quality gaming PC along with a high-end VR headset. The computer provides the extra processing power needed to create realistic visuals in a full field of view around the player.

Valve, the company behind “Half-Life: Alyx,” launched a new $US1,000 VR system called the Valve Index earlier this year, which costs $US1,000 for a VR headset, two controllers, and the two sensors needed for the headset to work. Anyone who owns the Valve Index headset or controllers will receive a free copy of “Half-Life: Alyx” when it’s released in March 2020.

Half-Life Alyx
‘Half-Life: Alyx’ is already looking like one of the most impressive VR games ever made, but it won’t be cheap to play. ‘Half-Life Alyx’/ Valve

“Half-Life: Alyx” will work with less expensive VR headsets too, like the $US400 Oculus Rift S and Windows Mixed-Reality headsets, which sell for as low as $US250.

However, the PC required to play “Half-Life: Alyx” is the bigger investment.

Based on Valve’s minimum requirements for “Half-Life: Alyx,” building a new computer to play the game would cost at least $US600, without factoring in the cost of a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The minimum requirements include:

  • An Intel i5-7500 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor
  • 12 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD RX 580 graphics card with at least 6 GB VRAM

If you’re already a dedicated PC gamer you might already have a computer that meets the minimum requirements, but the high cost of entry for “Half-Life: Alyx,” could make it difficult some fans from giving the game a shot. Here’s hoping that virtual reality systems continue to get more affordable over time.