Two months on from Rift launch and Oculus is still struggling with shipping the long-anticipated VR HMD. Now HTC has hit the company where it really hurts.
The Taiwanese group has today announced that it’s stepping up shipping of the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift’s main rival. Orders placed through the official Vive site will now ship within two to three business days to any of the 24 countries that the kit is available in. For comparison’s sake, if you were to order a Rift right now it wouldn’t ship until two months’ time in August. Ouch.
Not only that but the Vive is now available to buy at select retail sites including some Microsoft Stores, GameStops, and Micro Centers. Anyone that’s pre-ordered the device through one of these outlets should be able to pick one up later this week. Many of these outlets will also be getting demo kiosks for the Vive; a total of 100 retail locations will start showcasing the kit in the US this month. That includes 51 Microsoft Stores, 40 GameStop stores, and 10 Micro Center stores. You can see if any stores are close at the Vive website.
Though the company would never admit it, it’s hard not to see this news as definite jab at the Rift, which has left many fans frustrated with its shipping woes. The rivalry between these two companies has heated up significantly since they both launched two months ago. We don’t know exactly how well one is doing in relation to the other, though we did recently uncover data that suggested the Vive may have an install base of around 50,000 as of one month ago.
The Vive might be here significantly sooner, but it’s also a fair bit more expensive, coming in at $799 compared to the $599 Rift. For the extra $200 you get everything you need for a Room Scale tracking experience, including position-tracked controllers. The Rift’s equivalent, Oculus Touch, won’t be arriving until the second half of this year for an unrevealed price.
No doubt this will add to the mounting pressure Oculus is feeling on the shipping side. The sooner it can get the Rift back on track the better.