The Oculus Rift launch saga continues. Following a surprise delay of nearly two months, some orders are now shipping out significantly ahead of the initial delay estimates provided by Oculus. Meanwhile, eager customers seek the fastest way to get their hands on the Rift.

Oculus Rift Shipping Delay Recap

The Oculus Rift opened for pre-orders on January 6th and was set to officially launch on March 28th. Customers with first-day pre-orders were expecting their Rift on or around that date, but as it came and went, it became clear that a substantial number of orders hadn’t shipped, including many orders from customers who were at the forefront of the queue.

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See Also: Oculus Rift Review – Prologue to a New Reality

Oculus acknowledge the delay within a week of the March 28th launch, saying only that it was caused by an “unexpected component shortage” and opted to refund all shipping charges for orders up to that point. The company also promised to provide updated shipping estimates to its customers by April 14th.

When those updated estimates came in however, the delay turned out to be more significant than anticipated, with some of the earliest pre-orders not expected to ship until some two months after the initial launch date.

Conservative Estimates

We’re now getting reports that some orders, while still delayed from the initial March 28th launch date, are shipping out earlier than the delay estimate. One customer we spoke with, who pre-ordered the Rift within 60 minutes of availability, has seen their Rift ship significantly ahead of their estimate.

SEE ALSO
Rift Platform Update Now Lets Users Import Custom Home Spaces

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For this particular customer, Oculus estimated the Rift wouldn’t ship until sometime between May 23rd and June 2nd, around two months after the official launch date. However, the customer tells us that their Rift was shipped today, about one month ahead of the delay estimate, and about one month after the official launch date.

See Also: Following Rift Delay, HTC Vive Backorder Pushes Into June

It isn’t clear how many other customers are likely to see the same treatment, but a statement from Oculus provided to Road to VR seems to indicate that the delay estimates are conservative:

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 [delay] estimates we’ve provided.

A report from Digitimes published last week points to the Rift’s unique lenses as the explanation of the “unexpected component shortage” that caused the delay, however the source of the information is not identified by the publication.

Jumping the Line

Eager customers are of course looking to find the fastest way to get their Rift, especially when newly placed orders are not expected to ship until August.

While Oculus is the only place that you can buy the Rift by itself, the company has partnered with retailers Amazon, Best Buy, and Microsoft to sell Oculus Rift + PC bundles which include an ‘Oculus Ready PC’ along with the headset. In some cases, it seems that people ordering from these retailers may see their order shipped substantially sooner than even those who pre-ordered the headset on day one from Oculus. That would suggest that Oculus allocated some number of headsets to these retailers which are independent of the Oculus pre-order queue.

SEE ALSO
Oculus Holiday Deal Brings Modest Discounts to Oculus Go & Rift

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One user over at the Oculus section of Reddit says they ordered the Oculus Rift PC bundle from Microsoft and received a shipping confirmation within hours, with expected delivery of both the PC and the headset in just two days. That’s compared to new orders placed with Oculus having an estimated ship date some four months from the placement of the order.

Some eager Reddit users have suggested to those that have no need for the bundled PC to simply sell it or even try to return just the PC part of the bundle, though it isn’t clear if the latter would be allowable by the retailers’ return policies. Furthermore, at the time of writing, all 20 Oculus Rift bundles offered between Amazon, Microsoft, and Best Buy are now sold out across the board.

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  • George Vieira IV

    Mine is still sitting at the 5/23 – 6/2 date. Interesting because I’m pretty positive ordered within 10 minutes or so of sales opening.

    Edit:
    Just looked at when I got my original order confirmation, Jan 6 11:32 (eastern) That of course doesn’t say when I ordered it though, just when the confirmation went through.

    • Stephen Marshall

      My order is 11:34 eastern.

      When I checked my confirmation email time vs when the order went thru, it was the same.

      I’m still sitting at the same window as well 5/23-6/2.

    • realtrisk

      Your confirmation email is pretty much your place in line, I believe… not that Oculus are filling them in order at all…

      • Tehen

        People on Reddit are looking directly at their order time in the source code of their oculus order history page.

  • Arthur Matos Cavalcante

    Good news finally. I got my confirmation e-mail 7 minutes and 18 seconds from launch and a march 28th estimate. Now my estimate is 05/02-05/12. Just hoping that it gets here soon. About to go on deployment i would really like to take my Rift with me :)

  • Mike McLin

    Order PC bundle from Best Buy on 3/19, with ship date of 4/13. Received notice a few weeks ago that it would be delayed to 5/3. Received another notice this week, that the ship date has been bumped up to 4/27.

    The Vive I ordered (from HTC Vive website) on the same day, 3/19, has a ship window of May.

  • Matt R

    Got My Rift a week ago. Used it once to see if it works. My Vive arrives tomorrow. Really looking forward to that. Rift will probably not see much use after tomorrow.

    • nullcodes

      What did you like? You get dizzy in it?

      • Matt R

        It was good. I own a DK1 and DK2 so I have seen the improvements over the different versions. I played lucky’s tale for a while. It was a typical platformer especially when you take into account you are just using a normal xbox one controller. The VR didn’t add much apart from the ability to look around and it did make the 3D objects and characters look more “real” if you can say that about a cartoon. The camera movement started making me a tiny bit dizzy but I got used to it after about 5 mins of playing. I watched the Henry Hedgehog thing which was cute. The screens are nice and high res. You can just about make out the pixels but you have to look for them. Black levels are really bad and messy. I know the God Rays thing has been discussed a lot and some people say it is a problem and some say it is hardly noticeable. Well it is very very noticeable in a high contrast scene. Is it a problem? not really a problem. Is it distracting? yes. I played a few other games which were OK but nothing on Oculus home really stood out. Nothing I would spend money on anyway. Really looking forward to some of the Vive games. They look fun.

        • Raphael

          Reflections with fresenel are a problem with dark scenes that have bright areas. Space and horror games will be the worst hit.

          You’re presenting a childishly negative view of cv1 just because you want to play with vive toys. Oculus has some great vr experiences beyond the kiddy game Luckey’s tale. Project cars, elite dangerous, dcs world, apollo 11 and much more. Sell your cv1 to someone who will make use of it. Or let’s say someone who knows how to make use of it.

          • Matt R

            They are just my observations from using the CV1. I don’t think it was negative. I did say it was good. Yes I want to play with Vive.

            I’ve owned Elite dangerous since beta and played it on DK2. Apart from higher resolution there was no difference.

          • Bryan Ischo

            Ignore Raphael. He likes to insult anyone with an opinion that doesn’t match his own.

          • Raphael

            Quite correct Bryan.

          • TaxPayer

            lol

          • Smokey_the_Bear

            He bought the Oculus…he can run over it with a steam rover if he wants to. I’m guessing your “feeling the Bern”.

          • Raphael

            Do you mean Bern in Switzerland? My what is feeling the bern? Unless you mean you’re feeling the Bern.

          • Burstup

            Actually, both space games I play look great in the Rift. No problems with god rays in either Elite Dangerous or EVE Valkyrie.
            I was a bit surprised about that myself, and very happy. God rays are only annoying in intro screens with white letters on black background. No game so far where I noticed them except for Technolust which has a lot of bright neon lights in the dark – but the god rays in that game add to the atmosphere.

          • Raphael

            That’s good to hear. I won’t be bothering with technolust but certainly spend time on elite.

          • John R

            Not sure how you read that as a negative view, let alone a childish one. He was just giving his experience of the Rift without being biased; no mention that he didn’t expect the same issues with the fresnel lenses on the Vive, which also exist to a lesser extent.

          • Raphael

            That may possibly have something to do with the fact that he went back and edited his words and it now reads as far less negative. Originally he mentioned the oculus store and not finding anything worth playing.

            He’s obviously a bit devious because you’re all left wondering why I’m calling his statement childish. There’s nothing childish about his edited words as they stand now.

            He has removed an entire section of text about oculus games and that is what I was responding to…

          • Matt R

            I absolutely did not change any context of my entry. In fact I don’t think i changed anything except maybe some spelling. This is what I put about the Oculus store “but nothing on Oculus home really stood out” and that has not changed. I have not removed ANY text at all. Your lies do not make you right.

          • Matt R

            I have used the Vive now and yes it does have the Fresnel reflections but In all honesty they are no where near as obvious even in very high contrast scenes in my observations. I’m going to write up a full review of both with a full comparison of what I like and don’t like from both head sets. Both have strengths over the other.

    • OkinKun

      meh, I think the Rift HMD has a comfort advantage.
      I’m looking forward to my Rift arriving, and getting Touch later this year too. I bet after all the bad PR from the messy launch, Oculus wont screw up the Touch launch. heh
      I really hope they learn their lesson, and start having some of the best launches of any hardware out there. That would be my hope.
      Anyway, I HUGELY prefer Touch over the Vive’s controllers, and I think Touch has a lot more possibilities and is more advanced for VR. It’s smaller, and more ergonomic, and focuses much more on being a translation of your hands into VR, while Vive tries to be a tool. And I like Touch’s ability to detect finger gestures. I think Touch will have more hand-presence than Vive could ever do.
      I also like the Comfort of the Rift HMD far better than Vive’s, and in the short term, if I could use the Rift HMD with Vive controllers, I would. lol
      IMO, It’s only been a 1 month delay, and that’s not a big deal to me, after living through the DK1 and DK2 launches. So I don’t really understand why so many people are hating on Oculus for this.. :(
      I don’t mind waiting for Touch, and it’s actually nice to break up the cost of these devices, over the year like this. Plenty of other things I can do with VR in the meantime.

      • Matt R

        I have never used either controller so i’m not in a position to comment on them. I assume you have used both?

        • OkinKun

          Tried them both at a demo event in Jan or Feb.. Also owned a DK1 and DK2.

        • John R

          While Okin points out the benefits of the Oculus and its controllers, I personally feel VR without roomscale isn’t exciting/immersive when gaming. Nothing beats standing and moving around which just isn’t achievable with the way they have designed the first iteration of the Rift and Touch. Granted if you don’t have the space for roomscale then Rift is the obvious winner.

          VR without motion controllers is definitely novelty so until Touch controllers are out, Vive is the only real VR experience to enjoy for now.

          • Albert Walzer

            i regularely do “roomscale” with my DK2. I get up in my elite dangerous cockpit and walk around the cockpit to look outside the windows. The tracking volume just barely is big enough for that, but with the rift i presume it will be larger (plus i plan on getting a second cam)

          • Karon

            Roomscale tracking works perfectly fine with touch.

          • realtrisk

            here here. In full agreement.

          • Matt R

            @John R Having recieved my Vive yesturday, Set it up and used it for 6 hours including showing it to my girlfriend. I can not agree with you more. VR with hand controllers is just on a different level. I bought the Space Pirate Trainer game thinking it would just be a 5 min, never play again tester. Boy was I wrong. On any other platform (None VR or VR without hand crontrollers) is it just space invaders. In VR with room scale and hand controllers it is so much fun. Such a simple game with very shallow gameplay has been given new life due to VR of this type. I wonder how many other simple game play mechanics are going to be revived because this new tech revolution. My Girlfriend who is not a big gamer at all couldn’t get enough of the Archery mini game in the Valve Lab game. This is a very exciting time.

            (I Seem to have parented my own post. I meant to reply to John R)

      • John R

        Think you’ll find the hate on Oculus is from new customers and for the fact it is the consumer version, not the developer version. Also, you have the fact they messed up DK1 and DK2 launches as you note, so why shouldn’t customers be unhappy with an expensive product going through issues and finding communication hard from a 2-billion dollar company?

    • Mike

      Heh, I did the opposite. Got the Vive April 6th used it for a day, but ultimately decided to sell it for a profit. My Rift should be arriving early May. We’re like mirror twins!

  • Felix Andersen

    Makes a lot of sense to do this in order to prevent mass cancellations. Immediately shipping out some orders that were given a seriously delayed ship date will raise hopes in the others that they are as lucky as well, and thus prevents them from cancelling – the Rift could ship tomorrow, right? Maybe it could even ship today! Or next week. Or in June. Or even today!
    I guess keeping as much uncertainty about these delays is the best Oculus could do in this situation, nobody can complain if it indeed takes their personal Rift months to ship, but it still gives them enough hope to cling on.

    • his friend

      I tried canceling and they wouldn’t let me……..i think it just shipped out today.

  • Im pretty insulted personally, as I ordered within the first minute. Still no shipping status for me sigh

    • Starman3482

      Rightfully so, I got in at minute 9 amd still in the boat with you. This boat sucks, fuck this boat

      • Smokey_the_Bear

        hahahaha

    • realtrisk

      You have your order confirmation email, and it came in at ONE MINUTE over the hour of pre-orders opening? I have trouble believing that…

      • Tehen

        Some people were able to acces the pre order page minutes before the official openning with the url posted on Reddit apparently.

        People on Reddit are looking directly at their order time in the source code of their oculus order history page.

        But even that is not really accurate to estimate the shipping date.

  • PianoMan

    It’s pretty crappy to treat customers this way, they knew all along they must have. HTC’s wasn’t perfect either but at least now most people are seeing significant shipments. I ordered some 3 hours after the pre-orders openend and received my Vive last week. I’m pretty glad I held off and put my money on the Vive and not OR. I feel sorry for people that have put money down and won’t see anything for a while. It’s no way to treat your first customers.

    • realtrisk

      I agree. I ordered both as fast as I possibly could when orders opened, got my Vive on the 6th of April, and still have seen nothing from Oculoosers. I really am starting to hate them.

  • Michael Quiroz

    I pre-ordered a bundle on March 30th from Best Buy and Its expected to ship this week. I thought it would get delayed, but the last email from BB actually moved my ship date up! Sadly i’m traveling for work and will barely have time to play with it. Damn work.

    • Kijutsu

      When I thought I couldn’t be more pissed at Oculus.

      • Michael Quiroz

        To be fair, if Oculus did not fulfill these bundle orders, they would face charge backs from the retailers and seriously harm their relationship with Asus and Dell. Oculus is just trying to appease their largest customers. Asus, Dell, Best Buy and Amazon will buy far more units than a single individual ever will. I feel your pain tho man, and i hope you get yours soon!

  • realtrisk

    What the actual heck? Why are they giving bundle pre-orders priority over fulfilling their obligations to customers who have been waiting for months and months? And why the HECK does someone who ordered within “60 minutes” get theirs before me, when my order confirmation email was sent at 8 minutes? Screw you, Oculus! I @#%@ing hate you!

    • trebuh

      Because Best Buy is important to Oculus, but they can screw with their biggest fans all they want.

  • Maria da Cunha

    “33 minutes” or “60 minutes” ??????

    Yesterday (in roadtovr)
    “who pre-ordered the Rift within 33 minutes of availability”

    Today (in roadtovr)
    “who pre-ordered the Rift within 60 minutes of availability”

  • Jefery Starr

    I ordered the bundle from Best Buy on a whim last week. It will arrive tomorrow. I needed a faster PC anyway but just assumed when the release date came it would be delayed. Much to my surprise the release date moved UP from May 5th to April 27th over the weekend, and it shipped yesterday. I feel a bit guilty about jumping ahead.

  • Tony

    So wait… I am a “24” group order, with an estimated ship date of Apr 25-May 5… and per this article, someone with May 23- June 3 window has their Rift and I don’t? WTF with these guys?!

  • Ned Hoon

    Im happy enough to wait for my order dont mind a month or so delay having said that I would like it now lol.Would appreciate some sort of window on the Touch release but no biggie.

  • obamakilledusa

    This is bait, and switch, illegal business practice. They said oculus was available so you would buy oculus, and not buy vive. But it was a lie. They switched it out with an IOU.

  • Tom Dunn

    I ordered approx two hours after the email showed up in my emails. I am now set for a early to mid July delivery. At least the software will be growing. Jumped right in there with a new Alienware and didnt see the promo code. Grrrrrrr…..

  • Tom Dunn

    I’m getting very sleepy and I think its time to move back inside.It’s not coming today either…..