Oculus Clears Rift Backlog, Avoids Bad Publicity Ahead of OC3
Oculus Rift has announced its backlog for the shipment of pre-orders has finally been cleared. The virtual reality headset was made available for pre-order to the public in January, and attracted an overwhelming number of orders. Understandably, Oculus could not deal with the demand at the time, but it has taken the company around three months to ship out the earliest orders since it was released in March.
The $599 headset is Facebook’s take on the virtual reality space, and caters particularly to gamers with high-end PCs. Excited users who jumped on the bandwagon early were perhaps not rewarded adequately, having had to wait months for the VR headset. New Oculus Rift orders on the other hand are set to be shipped out to buyers within two to four business days. This means anyone ordering a new Oculus Rift device can receive it by the end of the week.
On the plus side, those who pre-ordered the device were given free shipping by the company. The fault was on Oculus’ part, since the company fell short of the components necessary to manufacture new units. It is interesting to note that the Oculus Touch controllers are still not ready, and are expected to be shipped out in the last quarter of 2016. Oculus Rift users will have to make do with Xbox One Controllers, which is good news for Microsoft Corporation.
The Oculus Rift was released around the same time as the HTC Vive, which also faced shipment issues. The Vive is already available for immediate shipping, so Oculus has timed the announcement to stay in touch with what its competitors are doing. The company’s other competitor, the Sony PlayStation VR, will launch its own VR unit around the same time as the launch of the Oculus Touch controllers. The PlayStation VR will ship with PlayStation Move controllers, which will be equipped with hand tracking capabilities to mimic users’ movements.
Oculus also announced that it will ensure that over 30 Touch-compatible titles will be available by the time the Touch controllers are launched. The Touch controllers will ship en masse at launch, ensuring all users have access to the latest controllers. Potential buyers who want to try out the VR device can look up opportunities in their area through Oculus Live. Certain Microsoft Stores will host the Rift headset, while it will also be up for demos at more than 500 Best Buy stores by the end of 2016.
It is interesting to note that the clearing of backlog comes just a few months before the “Oculus Connect 3” event, set to be held between October 5 and October 7 in San Jose, California. Featuring keynotes by Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, John Carmack, and Michael Abrash, the event is a good way to market the Rift headset. It is possible for the Touch controllers to also be launched at OC3, therefore it will be interesting to see what innovations Oculus has planned for the future of the VR industry.
Editing by Salman Ahmed;Graphics by Arshad Abbasi