Some customers who ordered and are still waiting for an Elite Strap and Elite Battery Strap for Quest 2 have received an email from Oculus that maintains their shipments will be delayed, as the company is currently investigating user complaints likely surrounding premature breakage first spotted in late October.
Reports of Elite Strap failures first materialized on Reddit late last month, with multiple users in the following days detailing the same issue: even when treated gently, a percentage of users are experiencing cracks and complete breakages of the straps’ plastic side struts.
Here’s the email Oculus sent out to customers yesterday evening:
Dear [Person’s name],
We are reaching out to inform you that we won’t be able to ship your Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery and Carrying Case by the estimated ship date. We are investigating some customer quality reports and be believe this is affecting a very small percentage of Elite Strap accessories, as it’s important to us that we’re always providing our customers with the highest-quality experience possible with our products, so we’ve temporarily paused shipping inventory from our distribution centers while we look into this.
If you would like to keep your order despite the shipping delay, please let us know by contacting Oculus Support. If you request that we keep your order and fill it later, you still have the right to cancel the order at any time before we ship it to you.
The law requires that we automatically cancel your order and issue you a refund unless we hear back from you or ship your order by 12/05/2020. If you do not want to wait, and would like to cancel your order for a full refund before then, you may do so from your account or by contacting Oculus Support.
We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you have any further questions, please contact Oculus Support.
Affected users have been informally reporting their own strap failures in a megathread on the Oculus Quest subreddit, which holds that customers from both North America and Europe are experiencing the issue.
One such Reddit user, ‘PixHammer_’, says in a thread that the strap wasn’t overtightened, or damaged in any way before it broke.
“[I]’d been babying this thing since hearing about failures and so even stored the thing untightened in a drawer when not in use. Failed on me during VRChat at some point without as much of a noise or indication it was starting to go.”
This seems to be a running theme across multiple user reports, which likely points to a manufacturing defect in a percentage of the straps. That said, it’s possible a majority of users won’t experience breakages at all.
YouTuber ‘VRCauldron’ put his Elite Strap to the test, going as far as putting it on a removing it 250 times, tossing it down a flight of stairs, sitting on it, wearing glasses in it, swiveling it, and generally banging it around. You can check out that video below:
We also have a unit in hand which has thus far performed admirably, so much so that in our review of the Elite Battery Strap, Road to VR’s Ben Lang said he’d “highly recommend either of [the] Quest 2 headstrap accessories over the soft strap that comes included with the headset.”
As we found in our full Quest 2 review, the soft strap just doesn’t do a great job of keeping the headset comfortably on your face. But the Elite Strap accessories aren’t just an improvement over the Quest 2 soft strap, they’re the best strap design the company has made yet on any of its VR headsets, and both feel very well built.
You can read our full review of the Elite Battery Strap here.
At the time of this writing, hardly any of the official Oculus accessories are in stock, which makes the stoppage both frustrating for users who managed to buy one before they went out of stock, and also for the people waiting on fresh stock. Still, it’s good to see Oculus taking it seriously and addressing it head-on with customers before they experience what could be a experience-damaging breakage.
Outside of calling it a “very small percentage”, exactly the extent of the defective units remains unknown, so if you encounter a problem, it’s best to contact Oculus and submit a support ticket.