The Oculus Rift launch problems continued today with the promised shipping update being released to customers. Each update is individualized, simply pointing preorder customers to the order page for a full update on their delayed shipping estimate. Depending on the exact time at which your preorder was placed your order can shift in the shipping estimate by weeks, or even months.
Most of those who ordered within the first few minutes of preorders going live were originally given a March 28th estimated ship date. That now has shifted into late April at the very earliest. Others are being pushed well into May and even June for some very unlucky customers.
I previously proclaimed the Oculus Rift launch to be a disaster and while this new information is certainly welcome for those who had been left in the dark about when their VR headset would arrive, it certainly isn’t an indicator that things have improved. Instead it really shows that the supply problems are much more grave than initially thought, and calls into question how Oculus ever thought that they would fulfill demand for the March 28th launch.
Many are wondering exactly when Oculus knew that the Rift would have to be delayed. With the HTC Vive launching in early April, it’s possible that they didn’t want customers to jump ship and cancel their orders. This is definitely just speculation, but with delays of this magnitude it is odd that the company was seemingly unaware of the problem until well into the launch period.
Still, having information is better than not having it, so it’s great to get an update at all. It is just unfortunate that the update is telling us to wait even more. Hopefully this is the last time that customers will be forced to wait longer than expected, and all the current ship dates are fulfilled as promised.
UPDATE: An Oculus representative had this to say about the current shortage.
The component shortage impacted our quantities more than we expected, and we’ve updated the shipment window to reflect these changes. We apologize for the delay.
We’re delivering Rifts to customers every day, and we’re focused on getting Rifts out the door as fast as we can. We’ve taken steps to address the component shortage, and we’ll continue shipping in higher volumes each week. We’ve also increased our manufacturing capacity to allow us to deliver in higher quantities, faster. Many Rifts will ship less than four weeks from original estimates, and we hope to beat the new estimates we’ve provided.