Oculus is asking for early adopters to give the company a second chance on delivery expectations with the forthcoming launch of Oculus Touch.
After years of anticipation, starting with the Oculus’ 2012 Kickstarter for the first development kit (DK1) of the Rift headset, enthusiasts and early adopters have been eager to finally get their hands on the first consumer Rift headset which launched earlier this year. Tempers flared when the launch of the hotly anticipated VR headset was plagued with delays, in some cases leading to day one pre-orderers not receiving the product until months after the launch date. The company said the shipping delay was caused by an unidentified component shortage, and opted to refund shipping for early orders. The delay also caused a months long backorder which didn’t clear up until July.
Oculus now says they have learned their lesson, and promises the launch of the Touch VR controllers later this year will go much smoother.
“[The Rift shipping issue] hit us [suddenly] internally, and all at the last minute,” said Jason Rubin, Head of Content at Oculus, speaking with Road to VR. “It wasn’t something we were hiding, it was something that struck us out of the blue in our process that created the problem.”
Rubin says he doesn’t think the shipping issue—while hotly contested at the time—will make a dent in the timeline of virtual reality adoption in the long run.
“Is there anything we would change? Of course. Would we have wanted to ship on time, of course. Having said that, I don’t think VR is going to be marred 10 years from now having looked back on the Rift launch,” he said.
Oculus has sorted out the issue, says Rubin, and asks that supporters look to the upcoming release of the company’s Touch VR controllers as the bar by which to judge their launch capability.
“We’re at a point now where, after having cleared up those problems, having given away free shipping and having gotten people the hardware that delivered on its promise. I think we really should be starting to put the slip ups behind us. Judge us on our Touch launch.”
After several delays to the launch timeline, users are eager to get their hands on the new Touch controllers and Oculus has been riding on its promise to deliver them on time in Q4 of 2016 with a library of quality launch titles. As the controllers aren’t launching until several months after those which came with the HTC Vive earlier this year, any further delays could have significant consequences of adoption and trust from the company’s supporters.
Additional reporting by Scott Hayden