Update: Oculus sent the following statement via email:
"The component shortage impacted our quantities more than we expected, and we've updated the shipment window to reflect these changes. We apologize for the delay.
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."
Oculus seems to be having issues with getting Rift headsets out to customers in a timely fashion.
Many customers who ordered headsets, or expected to receive them for backing the company's Kickstarter campaign, now face major delays in shipment that could extend for months.
Oculus attempted to explain the problem behind the shipment delays, blaming an "unexpected component shortage." To placate customers, the company will waive all shipping costs, but it seems that the problem continues to worsen.
Some customers received emails from Oculus noting that their estimated shipping dates are now delayed by months. Anyone ordering a headset in April won't see their orders arrive until August, which is four months away, meaning that customers probably have a good right to get upset.
Kickstarter backers are also having problems getting their headsets in a timely fashion.
"Kickstarter Backers, we're changing your Order History to show 'TBD' instead of the date as that date was applicable to the time in which we imported the orders," Oculus wrote on Reddit. "We've already fulfilled a large number of the orders and more are being fulfilled on a regular cadence. Your Rifts are from a different allocation."
Oculus Rift customers took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
Order processed 12 mins after Oculus went on sale. My new estimated ship date: 5/16-5/26, 2 months after “release” That’s a botched launch.
— Jeff Cannata (@jeffcannata) April 12, 2016
Cancelled my Oculus Rift pre-order. A 2 month delay is insane; no point in doing a review 3 months after release. Gonna vote with my dollar. — ThioJoe (@thiojoe) April 12, 2016
Oh, so it looks like my Oculus Rift is shipping between May 23rd and June 2nd. So much for April! — Devin Connors (@devinconnors) April 12, 2016
Man, it's rough obsessing about a product for 3 years and then watching the launch be so miserable. My "April" delivery turned into June. — Sanborn (@BSanbizzle) April 12, 2016
The HTC Vive also had issues with its launch: some customers had problems buying the unit with attempts to bill their credit cards declined. HTC, though, promises that it won't suffer from the same shipment delays as Oculus.
If you received a confirmation for April, you are absolutely going to get your order in April. — Daniel O'Brien (@obriend17) April 7, 2016
Oculus seems to have no good excuse in not getting orders out to early buyers, particularly those who donated to the Kickstarter campaign. It's unclear as to why those initial preorders weren't accounted for by the Rift's launch date, and the company hasn't yet responded to complaints, except for the statement offering free shipping on all units. It seems that Oculus just wasn't prepared to launch last month.