Oculus’ dedicated motion controllers Touch launch officially on December 6th, but some lucky pre-orders have already been delivered. But there are worrying signs that launch day delivery may not happen for others.
The Oculus Rift VR headset launch in March this year was viewed almost universally as poorly handled. Confusing shipping estimates, lack of communication on payment processing and protracted delays blamed on component shortages, all left a bad taste for those who had ordered early and waited patiently for Oculus’ first consumer virtual reality headset.
Oculus later vowed that the company’s second major consumer hardware launch would be different however, with Oculus’s Head of Content Jason Rubin, speaking to Road to VR earlier this year, stating “[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,” stating further that people should ” Judge us on our Touch launch.”
With just a few days until Touch is scheduled to begin arriving with pre-order owners on Tuesday, things are looking pretty healthy overall. Although we can only gauge how well Oculus Touch hardware is being distributed at this stage circumstantially, the comparisons to March’s Rift launch look favourable. There are multiple worldwide retail outlets, both online and bricks and mortar, indicating that they intend to have stock of the controllers ready for launch day and others whose pre-order shipping estimates indicate a healthy distribution of stock. UK retailer John Lewis for example has sent notifications via their courier DPD, with deliveries expected for some as early as tomorrow, a day prior to launch. Similarly, online retailer giant Amazon has shown good stock allocation with many choosing them over Oculus for their Touch orders.
What’s more, one lucky Touch owner in Nevada, US has reportedly already received his launch unit, although predictably software with which to try the devices out is as yet locked until launch day. Posting to an Oculus subreddit, user /u/LVNeptune has shown pictures of his launch day package along with some shots of the RockbandVR accessory. The user also comments that the Touch launch software is presently inaccessible although he has had success trying out his new devices with SteamVR titles, such as The Lab.
In the very same thread however, others bemoan the lack of processing or shipping notifications for their reportedly early-on pre-orders. I too can verify that my Oculus direct order has still yet to move to the ‘shipped’ phase, whilst my secondary John Lewis UK order is also scheduled to arrive on Monday 5th.
In summary, the Touch launch looks to be a lot more robust and healthy than the Rift. It seems likely that there will be many more people happily receiving their pre-order Touch packages either early or on time in comparison. It does however seem as though Oculus still has some kinks to iron out in its direct online order systems and that some may still be waiting patiently on launch day uncertain of arrival.
There’s no doubt though that Oculus have pulled out all the stops to ensure that, once people do get their hands on Touch, that they’re well supported for software with over 50 titles for the new motion controllers available at launch.