UPDATE: Doom Eternal has exceeded our sales expectations, surpassing Half-Life: Alyx to become the top selling Steam release of 2020 so far. Half-Life: Alyx has surpassed 500K sales at the time of this update. Everything else in the article is still accurate.
Valve's return to City 17 is poised to make sales record headlines next week. PlayTracker Insight tracking is showing Half-Life: Alyx has already surpassed 300.000 owners ahead of its launch on Monday, March 23rd.
This already puts the game within striking distance of the biggest Steam releases of 2020 so far like TemTem, Wolcen, Borderlands 3, Metro Exodus, and, amusingly, Black Mesa - Crowbar Collective's re-imagining of the original Half-Life game. Launch sales should propel the game into first place, pending a surprising over-performance by Doom Eternal this weekend.
VR owners account for only 1% of Steam users according to the Steam Hardware Survey, making this sales performance quite an impressive achievement.
The 300K figure includes all owners of the game on Steam, including those that got the game alongside a Valve Index purchase or a different special promotion (like the Valve Friends and Family Complimentary package). Going by the Steam Hardware Survey, Valve Index owners account for only ~7% of all VR owners of Steam which by PlayTracker Insight estimates is ~119.000 players. The game can be played on any SteamVR supported headset.
All Half-Life games have seen their concurrent player numbers rise over the past few weeks as fans prepare. VR headset sales spiked late last year, and unavailability continues to plague the most popular headsets like the Valve Index and Oculus Quest. It appears Alyx has been very successful in driving VR adoption, making an argument for commercial success even before launch. It remains to be seen if it will become a critical success as well, when reviews go out simultaneously as the game releases on Monday at 10AM PST/6PM CET.