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Oculus facepalms over delivery delays, earliest Rift orders to ship free

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Oculus Rift virtual reality headset

Sorry, but we may be late with your order.

A shipping delay is holding up some early orders of the highly anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, which was finally released on March 28 following years of development and hype. The good news is the company is making up for the delay by covering shipping costs. Saturday morning Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe announced on Twitter (@brendaniribe) that due to the unexpected shipping delay the company will pay for shipping of all orders up to midnight Pacific time April 1. The free shipping bonus will apply to international as well as U.S. orders.

Oculus started taking pre-release orders January 6, 2016. The company also previously committed to sending release copies to the 9,522 Kickstarter supporters from its 2012 crowdfunding campaign that eventually raised $2,437,429 in pledges.

In a letter sent to customers April 1 and first reported on Forbes, Oculus stated, “We’ve been working through an unexpected component shortage, and unfortunately, that issue has impacted the original shipping estimates for some early customers.” The letter further said the virtual headsets and bundled accessories are shipping every day and that all customers can expect shipment status updates online by Tuesday, April 12.

That some shipments are going out indicates the delay is caused by fewer than needed components, not a functional or performance problem.

The Rift virtual headset comes with a remote control, a standalone sensor, an Xbox One controller with a USB dongle, and required USB cables. The letter to customers did not specify which component or components caused the shortage.

Last week was a big week for virtual reality fans, with the Oculus Rift released on Monday March 28 and the Microsoft HoloLens first shipments to developers on March 30. As eager enthusiasts and those who would like to get started with their own virtual experiences await the new products, full transparency about product releases, availability, and shipping may quell concerns about “if” and “when” questions.

Having to wait till April 12 for updates, even for the earliest orders, may be frustrating, but at least those customers now know they’ll get free delivery, which Brendan Iribe Tweeted is via 2-day shipping.