Just last week, the HTC Vive began arriving at customer’s homes — following closely behind the launch of Oculus Rift in March. While the two VR headsets may offer different experiences and price points, both companies have found issues in meeting customer demand by means of manufacturing or shipping delays.
HTC Vive has been under pressure recently for having difficulties filling orders, along with cancellations and payment issues complicating the process for overseas customers. In an article with WIRED, an HTC spokesperson recently offered reassurance to frustrated fans, “all pre-orders confirmed for April will be delivered by the end of April, as per our original commitment.”
Another bit of clarification was offered to explain why those who pre-ordered immediately may not be getting a Vive based on their place in line, “while we previously committed to issuing orders sequentially, we should have been clearer at the beginning that this would be done on a country-by-country basis.” Another quirk was noted in that Paypal payments were processed quicker than credit cards — take note for future pre orders.
While the launch of an entirely new interactive platform couldn’t be expected to go off without at least one hitch, HTC seem dedicated to seeing satisfied customers at the end of the day. Hopefully they can deliver on April shipments, along with having sorted out issues for orders shipping in May and beyond.
Meanwhile with Oculus Rift, issues lie more in creating the HMDs. Palmer Luckey and the Oculus Twitter pages have been explaining that a supply constraint issue seems to be holding up the manufacturing process:
@SkyOtic @oculus The problem was fixed last week, but no, can't share further details. Ramping up production to keep up with demand.
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) April 12, 2016
We apologize for the delay getting Rifts to your doorstep. We?re addressing the component shortage and shipping Rifts as fast as we can.
— Meta Quest (@MetaQuestVR) April 12, 2016
While stating no specific terms of which component is coming up short, Oculus has arranged to compensate users for their pages with free shipping both nationally and internationally. It may not speed things up, but will ideally help the wait time.
First set of Rifts are going out slower than we orig estimated, so we're giving free shipping for all pre-orders, including international.
— Brendan Iribe (@brendaniribe) April 2, 2016
If there’s one problem you’d hope to have, it’s that demand has far outweighed supply. Luckily, it seems the manufacturing troubles have been defined and are on the road to recovery.
While both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift continue to maneuver their liftoff, those who have received units from both providers have been highly positive about the headsets and VR offerings. A quick glance at the r/oculus and r/vive subreddits show a dedicated community thriving with discussions ranging from first impressions to strategies in coping with shipment delays. It may make the wait more excruciating for those waiting to get in the game, but their patience should pay off in the very near future.