Much-awaited Oculus Rift Faces Shipping Delays

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Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Oculus Rift CV1: Oculus Homepage capture

Virtual-reality goggle maker Oculus, owned by Facebook, launched its VR headset, the Oculus Rift CV1, on March 28 and started shipping the first batch of Oculus Rift preorders. However, much to the disappointment of many people who pre-ordered the device, they still don’t even know when they'll get it. What is causing such delivery delays?

On April 2, Oculus finally broke the silence on the delivery delays: Oculus sent apology emails to customers, blaming an "unexpected component shortage" for causing the delays. The Facebook-owned tech firm said in the email: “We’re working hard to get up-to-date ship windows, and you should expect to see your order status updated on by Tuesday, April 12.” And Oculus promised all those who had pre-ordered Oculus Rift headsets free shipping in order to make up for the delay.


Mark Zuckerberg is explaining about Oculus Rift: Mark Zuckerberg Facebook capture

Oculus’s such move can be viewed positively as an effort not to lose early adaptors’ trust. However, the more you expect, the more disappointed you will be. Since so much buzz over the Facebook-owned tech firm’s VR headsets led to a website crash when so many people tried to place their preorders, the extra 10 days some people will have to wait itching for the device will be torturesome.

Every order of the Oculus Rift, priced at $599, includes a headset, sensor, remote, cables, Xbox controller, and Lucky's Tale.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey flew to Alaska to hand-deliver the first Rift to software developer Ross Martin in Anchorage, Alaska. The delivery of the first consumer-ready Oculus Rift VR headset and the first Rift unboxing were broadcast live on Facebook.

To celebrate the launch, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg live-streamed himself unboxing the VR headset while giving a brief breakdown of what to expect for about 22 minutes on Facebook.

Compared to all the publicity stunts, sending apology emails and tweets to customers seems somewhat informal.

Besides, Oculus has not disclosed what customers really want to know, i.e. detailed information on what components are delaying deliveries, how many of the customers who preordered the device are affected by the delivery delays and how long the customers have to wait before they get their hands on the device.

Fortune magazine ran an article titled “Oculus Hits Speed Bump with Rift Shipment Delays” to hiss at the shipping debacle. The article said: “The shipping stumble comes just five days after the official launch of the Rift. Co-founder Palmer Luckey hand delivered the first unit to Ross Martin in an awkward video. While the company has continued to ship some units, and says shipping continues even now, the previous lack of updates and delay of the first wave after such a public launch has angered the company’s core fan base.”

Due to government regulations, South Korea has not been included in the list of markets where the Rift will initially ship. However, there has been much interest in the consumer version of the Oculus Rift in. The Oculus Rift will ship initially to 20 countries – the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan. The Oculus Rift DV1 and DV2 were designed for developers.

Online community message boards are filled with inquires and information exchanges regarding the Oculus Rift. People ask when the Oculus Rift will ship to South Korea and how to use it and exchange opinions on whether the Rift is reasonably priced. Now, online posting are mainly about the delivery delays.


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