Oculus Coughs-Up Virtual Hairball On Rift Delays, Blames Component Shortage, Waives Shipping Fees
The Oculus Rift hype train is just getting rolling but is already checking its brakes. We reported yesterday about privacy concerns that have been raised by early recipients. Now, it looks like some preorder customers have a little longer than anticipated wait time before delivery. The Rift has already seen a few delays since its original Kickstarter campaign back in 2012. However, as the first preorders are shipping, production hangups are evidently still persisting. Oculus has been reportedly sending out emails notifying customers of an unexpected component shortage which has impacted shipping dates for some customers.
John Cena shirt not included - Credit: Wikimedia
The email includes an apology for not notifying affected customers sooner. To make amends, Oculus promises to cover all shipping and handling costs for all Rift orders placed through April 1st. This includes international orders, however the Rift is only available in twenty countries. Yes, this even includes customers who have or will receive their units on time. Customers can expect their order status to be updated by Tuesday, April 12th.
CEO Brendan Iribe confirmed the delay on Twitter while Oculus founder Palmer Luckey responded to concerned Reddit users. Luckey's comment was incredibly vague, remarking, "I won't give in-depth updates on any situation without knowing it is solid, true and finalized. Until I can do so, the best I can do is remind people that I will get them information as quickly as I can." He also claimed that he is metaphorically "crucified" whenever issues like this arise. Reddit users either praised Palmer for saying something, no matter how vague, or criticized Oculus' PR.
A post from TheTwistgibber -- an Oculus employee -- on Reddit indicates that customers who have already received an email indicating a 1-3 week timeline are still on track for delivery. If you have ordered a Rift and haven't received any communication, make sure to check your spam and junk folders of course.
Oculus' competition HTC Vive is also reportedly experiencing issues. Customers have been noticing their orders have been postponed or declined.
HTC Vive Virtual Reality System At Valve's Booth - GDC 2016
An HTC Vive representative recently responded with the following statement: "While fulfilling this week's orders for HTC Vive, a limited number of individuals were affected by auto cancellations due to processing issues with financial institutions. We're actively working to resolve this, and have already reinstated orders for some customers. We want to assure our customers that we'll work with them to process their payment so they can receive their Vive when they were expecting it. If you pre-ordered a Vive, we encourage you to contact your financial institution to notify them of upcoming charges."
The HTC Vive costs $799 and is supposed to launch April 5th while the Oculus Rift is $599 and is currently shipping.
Have you experienced any issues with ordering a virtual reality device? Will you be purchasing one? Let us know in the comments below.