The birth of virtual reality on PC has been very rocky indeed, with both virtual reality top contenders HTC Vive and Oculus Rift suffering heavy delays. Sadly the tale is not over for early adopters of Oculus Rift, as yet another hefty delay has happened due to a component shortage. A rather lengthy Reddit thread reveals that several people who pre-ordered the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset received an email, revealing that their VR headsets are now expected in May to June of this year.
Sadly this doesn’t seem like a small issue, as there is also a huge thread over at the Oculus forums with several users reporting delays for their VR headsets. One poster is even reporting a delay until July of 2016. Even a poster claiming that they pre-ordered within first ten minutes of availability is reporting a delay until the end of April.
Safe to say, morale among early adopters is rather low right now, and unsurprisingly some are considering jumping ship for the HTC Vive.You can hardly blame them, given that this is not the first time that the Oculus Rift has suffered delays over a component shortage.
While I obviously don’t know the ins and outs of Oculus as a company, there is an air of unpreparedness over this whole thing. Given that pre-orders for the device were gone within a very short space of time, Oculus were more than aware of the level of demand. So it does certainly make the company seem very unprepared to actually provide the amount of devices needed, especially given how long this thing has been in development. Whether or not that is actually the case, is hard to say, but it certainly appears that way. Even if it’s an issue with the factory, that does little to soothe the tempers of customers.
This also leads into concerns about the Oculus Touch controllers. As we all know, at the moment the Rift is only shipping with a Xbox One controller, and the VR specialised controllers will be released at a later date. Naturally, some users are wondering if a similar delay will affect the controllers as well. If it does, then Valve and HTC will see even more of an advantage given to the HTC Vive, as their device does ship with the specialised VR controllers.
While the HTC Vive is also having problems getting their orders out to people, that issue doesn’t seem as widespread as it’s limited to UK customers who paid with a credit card. While that’s pretty bad, it’s nowhere near the scale of the component shortage for the Oculus Rift.
I would not be surprised to see some users cancel their Oculus Rift pre-orders and change to HTC Vive (despite the increase in price) or join the growing number of PlayStation fans anxiously awaiting the PlayStation VR release.