It seems like the TR staff may have been lucky to get our Oculus Rift when we did. Today is the day that Oculus promised to update order statuses for Rift pre-orders, and it would seem that many woke up to bad news in their inboxes. The r/oculus subreddit is aflame this morning with tales of early pre-orders being bumped one to two months from their original projected ship dates. So far, Oculus hasn't offered a reason for these delays, but it would seem the "unexpected component shortage" that the company originally offered as the cause of slow pre-order fulfillment is more severe than one might have thought.
Ordered a Rift ~4 hrs after open. Had a May ship date. New ship window today is 6/20-6/30. So right before Rift v2 is announced?
— Scott Wasson (@scottwasson) April 12, 2016
The news may not be good for backers of Oculus' Kickstarter, either. In another post to Reddit, the company claims that it's set aside a "separate allocation" of the headsets for its Kickstarter backers. Even so, shipping projections for those folks have been switched to "TBD." The company says it's fulfilling Kickstarter rewards at a "regular cadence," and it claims to have fulfilled a "large number" of those rewards already.
To be fair, Oculus didn't charge pre-order buyers in advance for their Rifts, so it's not like the company is holding money hostage as it sorts out its supply chain. All that's really at issue is buyers' disappointment that Rifts won't be in their hands sooner. Still, this troubled launch is hard to watch for a platform that's still finding its legs. We'll be keeping our ears open for an official statement from Oculus on these issues.
Update 4/12/2016 12:10 PM: Oculus provided the following statement to Polygon regarding the company's revised shipping dates:
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.