Oculus founder “preorders are often a joke in this industry”

by Will Mason • July 2nd, 2015

Ever since Oculus announced the Q1 2016 release window for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift we have wondered when might we be able to start pre-ordering it.

E3 has come and gone and we still didn’t get an update on the when question, but we were able to get an answer to the why. Speaking with Oculus’ founder Palmer Luckey it appears to be an issue of philosophy. Palmer confirmed that we would in fact be able to preorder the Rift “later this year” but also reaffirmed that they haven’t said when.

When we asked him why Palmer was his usual candidly honest self, “it’s a balance,” he says, “you don’t want to be holding onto people’s money.”  But Palmer wasn’t done, calling out the whole idea of preorders in the industry, “we all know preorders are often a joke in this in this industry. We don’t want to be a part of that and be taking people’s money nine, ten months before we ship anything.”

There you go – Oculus wants to wait before taking your money so far in advance.

It could also easily have something to do with the fact that the edition they are showing is not entirely finalized, which we learned at E3. The actual consumer Rift will ship with  improved display technology compared to the one we got a glimpse at at E3 which actually seemed to have a better display than what we had seen previously in the Crescent Bay.

It seems likely that we will see an update on everything at Oculus’ developer conference in September, Oculus Connect 2, which will likely take place after the second edition of Samsung’s bi-annual Unpacked event (where they announce new phones and where we will get a look at the first consumer version of the GearVR, “if nothing has gone wrong” as Carmack said at GDC) – although the date for that has yet to be announced.

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe told us that developers “will learn everything they need to know” at Oculus Connect so it seems like the event will be a more formalized launching pad for what is to come.

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