Oculus Rift Delivery Delays Spoil Virtual Reality Headset’s Launch

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset launch isn’t going very well, with multiple reports of delayed shipments.

Aside from the obtuse buying process itself, actually getting the Rift you’ve payed for doesn’t seem to be at all reliable. Ordering one within minutes of them being put up for pre-order doesn’t seem to exempt you from the delay, and the order process itself seems to be somewhat unclear, to put it mildly.

Kickstarter Backers, we’re changing your Order History to show “TBD” instead of the date as that date was applicable to the time in which we imported the orders. We’ve already fulfilled a large number of the orders and more are being fulfilled on a regular cadence. Your Rifts are from a different allocation.

This awkwardly phrased message was sent to the earliest supporters of the Oculus Rift, adding insult to injury in a product launch that has become the talk of the internet at large. Other early backers are looking at a solid two month delay.

If you buy a Rift right now, you’ve got little to no chance of seeing it before the end of July. But even if you purchased it within minutes of the initial pre-orders being made available, you’ll probably still be waiting until June.

Oculus attributes the delays to an “unexpected component shortage” and promised to update customers today. That update was a drastic change in estimated shipping dates and a “TBD” where once was a projected delivery date.

Meanwhile, no such hitches are apparent in the launch of Valve and HTC’s Vive competing VR unit. After their delay directly into the launch window of the Oculus Rift, there was speculation that the overlapping releases would hurt the less visible project from Gabe Newell’s gaming juggernaut.

Oculus may be inadvertently providing the HTC Vive just the boost it needs.

Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.