Virtual reality vendor Oculus is now shipping its Oculus Rift headsets in two to four days for new orders at its Website after recently filling all of the preorders it had for the devices.
The company announced the completion of the preorder shipments in a July 12 post on The Oculus Blog, and apologized to customers for the delays in getting the popular devices shipped.
“We want to apologize for the delays in getting Rifts to doorsteps,” the company said in the post. “We appreciate that without your support, VR wouldn’t be where it is today. Thank you for your patience over the past few months.”
The company is also now expanding shipments of the $599 Rift devices to retail partners online and in stores, and is adding Rift demonstration displays in retail stores across the United States, according to Oculus. “Starting this month, you’ll be able to get your hands on Rift at select Microsoft Stores. In addition, our demo space will expand at Best Buy to more than 500 U.S. stores now through the fall.”
The announcements come more than two months after Oculus angered some customers when it announced in early May that it would ship some Rift units to 48 Best Buy stores where a limited number of customers would be able to purchase them immediately. Some customers were angry because they were still on preorder lists waiting for their devices while the company chose to offer the devices even though the preorders were not yet filled, according to an earlier eWEEK story.
Disappointed preorder customers posted their reactions on The Oculus Blog at that time, criticizing the move by the company.
“This just re affirms that maybe the only thing I truly preordered was hope,” wrote buyer Greg Dietz in the comments section. “Turns out that’s on backorder now too, considering some [person] might randomly walk into Best Buy and pick up a Rift months after I preordered it AND months before mine even ships. This is insanity. I feel more disappointed as time goes by.”
Another preorder buyer, Luke Goddard, wrote: “I must admit this is a bit of a let down from Oculus, it just seems [to be] knock-back after knock-back. First preorders were pushed back a bit due to too many orders and lack of parts, which is fine, but then to find out they will be selling it in shops before preorders are fulfilled—great. Not only that—people like me are still awaiting a confirmation of when our Oculus Rifts will even be dispatched. It’s getting a bit absurd now.”
Oculus did not respond immediately to an eWEEK request for comment on July 12 about the latest Rift shipping updates.
The Rift virtual reality headsets began shipping on March 28 as the company began filling Kickstarter orders for its latest flagship VR devices, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Earlier in March, Oculus also announced that some 30 new VR gaming titles will be available to play on the new devices as the first Rift VR headsets begin shipping.
The Rift is equipped with dual active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays that are designed to provide users with incredible visual clarity as they explore virtual worlds with the device. The Rift also uses an infrared LED constellation tracking system that provides precise, low-latency 360-degree orientation and position tracking for users for accurate and fluid control and operation when playing games and simulations.
Facebook acquired Oculus for $1.9 billion in March 2014 to expand its social media footprint in a new direction.
In June, Oculus quietly removed software controls that prevented users of competing virtual-reality headsets from using and playing games that were developed originally for Oculus Rift VR headsets, according to an earlier eWEEK story. That means the games can now be played on the competing HTC Vive VR headset.