Oculus cancels a "small number" of Rift pre-orders

With the virtual reality scene expected to explode in the next few month or so, many are eager, perhaps too much, to jump onboard before the ship gets too crowded. But while most, if not all, of those have the best intentions, they might not actually be qualified to be an early VIP passenger. At least as far as the companies are concerned. That, it seems, is the reason why a number of Oculus Rift pre-orders have suddenly been canceled, less than a month before the VR headsets actually start shipping to their eagerly awaiting owners.

Oculus kicked off the pre-order phase for the Oculus Rift early in January and, despite costing $600, it still managed to rope in many pre-orders, just as expected and, perhaps, hoped for. More than a month later, however, a number of those pre-orders, which the Facebook-owned company insists is just a very small number, have suddenly been canceled, with little explanation except for being unable to process the order.

The working theory is that these canceled Rifts were pre-ordered to ship to unsupported countries or that rather dubious details related to shipping. It's normal for companies to limit the initial launch of a product to a few markets and, for the Oculus Rift, that was limited to 20 countries only. However, some of those whose orders were canceled claim that they have been indiscriminately affected just because they made the pre-order while traveling abroad or by having differing shipping addresses. Oculus' only advice is for those customers to contact support and argue their innocence.

This mess, whether small or big, might give Oculus Rift rival HTC Vive a small break. The Vive, which start its pre-order next week and is scheduled to ship in April, will be available in some markets that Oculus isn't, including China. Availability will, of course, be a huge factor in determining market success, but an even bigger consideration will be the quality of the experience. Oculus definitely has had a head start in development though the HTC Vive is backed by long-time gaming company Valve. For now, the jury is still out on that one.

VIA: TechCrunch