When the consumer version of the Oculus Rift launched in March 2016, many early adopters were left disappointed when their order shipped far later than anticipated. Now, the company has pledged that the upcoming release of its Oculus Touch motion controller won’t suffer from the same issues.
“We’re at a point now where, after having cleared up those problems,” said Oculus’ head of content, Jason Rubin, speaking to Road to VR. “[and] having given away free shipping and having gotten people the hardware that delivered on its promise, I think we really should be starting to put the slip-ups behind us. Judge us on our Touch launch.”
While pre-orders for the Rift opened in January 2016, they weren’t completely fulfilled until July. The problem was apparently related to a shortage of one particular component, which arose toward the end of the manufacturing process.
Rubin characterized the delay as a “last minute” case of unforeseen circumstances. “It wasn’t something we were hiding,” he explained. “It was something that struck us out of the blue in our process that created the problem.”
As Rubin indicates, the real test for Oculus will be the launch of its Touch controller. The peripheral has already been delayed, having originally been scheduled to release shortly after the Rift itself, so a smooth shipping process is crucial if the company wants to affirm its status as a reliable hardware manufacturer.
It’s important that Oculus starts distributing its proprietary controller as soon as possible, as HTC Vive controllers have been available for several months. Developers and players alike have already had time to become familiar with the wands used alongside the Vive, and that could impact the larger battle for VR dominance.
As it stands, the Oculus Touch controller will be released in the fourth quarter of 2016, but there’s no firm date as of the time of writing.