If virtual reality ever becomes as revolutionary a technology as the automobile, then the Oculus Rift could be remembered as its Model T. The modern VR market would arguably not exist were it not for a teenager named Palmer Luckey, some duct tape, and one very successful crowdfunding campaign. However, despite its mythic status in the industry, Oculus stumbled during the early days of its mass market release.
The biggest issue concerns delivery. There are still early adopters who pre-ordered their headsets within moments of the Rift’s initial availability that have yet to receive so much as a processing notice. This has led to a lot of vocal frustration. But the clouds appear to be parting and it now looks as if Oculus is starting to dig itself out of the hole it has been in since March 28.
One of the most powerful online engines for the virtual reality scene is r/Oculus – a VR themed sub-community on the popular content aggregator Reddit. r/Oculus contains nearly 75,000 of the world’s most avid VR enthusiasts and, as such, it served as the central hub for Rift customers to compare the status of their orders and vent their very understandable frustrations.
Recently, however, that tide has begun to turn and posts to r/Oculus Rift consumers have begun posting their incredulous delight over orders being fulfilled much earlier than they had anticipated.
Some early adopters are reporting that Rifts are shipping as much as one month ahead of schedule, and the overall sense of agony in the community has died down significantly.
During the initial shortage, Oculus apologized to customers and outlined its strategy for taking back the ground it had lost:
“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 new estimates we’ve provided.”
It appears as though this approach is paying off and the momentum of the launch is beginning to shift in the company’s favor. Oculus representatives confirmed as much to UploadVR adding that “We are shipping Rifts in volume, every day.”
While this is certainly good news, it is not to say that Oculus is sailing on smooth waters just yet. Non-US customers, for example, are still reporting delays and there remains a notable amount of North American consumers waiting on their orders to go out as well.
Despite these concerns, the shift does seem to indicate that there is at least light at the end of the tunnel and that Oculus is on its way to winning back customer support via a fresh deluge of hardware.
What about you? Are you Still waiting on your Rift? Or are you one of the pleasantly surprised? Let us know where you stand in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Heaney555