I've been on the VR hype train for years. When HTC opened up pre-orders for the Vive, I plunked down my credit card and started waiting. But the Vive's launch has come and gone, and... I'm still waiting. When is my Vive gonna show up? I don't really know, and it seems like I'm not alone. Though early reviews for VR's consumer debut have been mostly positive, shipping the damn units has been a mess. Oculus hasn't been clear with Rift buyers, and lots of people are understandably frustrated. (I also pre-ordered an Oculus to cover my bases, back when I was unsure which one to buy. I don't know when that's showing up, either! I'll probably cancel it.)
Given that Oculus hadn't shipped a product before, it's understandable there might be some growing pains. HTC, however, is a major electronics manufacturer. Surely, it will be easier to get the Vive out the door? Not really.
When I pre-ordered my Vive, here's what the company told me in an email:
Thank you for your HTCVIVE.com order — We will start shipping April 2016. Your pre-order's estimated arrival will be based from the date you receive your shipping notification. You will be receiving a notification once your product has been shipped with a tracking number for your convenience. Please note that your shipment will require a signature upon arrival from the person who placed the order to ensure a safe and secure delivery of your new HTC Vive product.
April is pretty vague, but that was in late February. Since then, there's been very little communication from HTC about when my Vive might show up.
On March 26, I got an email saying my Vive was "being processed", with a link to an order page. It'd been nearly a month since placing my order, and the launch was imminent, so it made sense HTC would have more details.
That order page, unfortunately, doesn't have any real information, only reiterating that my Vive "will start shipping April 2016". Thanks, HTC!
Vive units are shipping to people, and Kotaku got a few review units, so it's not like the Vive doesn't exist. But for the people who plunked down $US899 ($1197) to be part of the VR "revolution" ASAP, it's infuriating a major corporation is unable to provide details on when you might get that product.
HTC actually published a blog post today trying to clear up the confusion.
"We understand that multiple issues have arisen in the past two days and we are working hard to resolve them as quickly and efficiently as possible," the company said in the post. "We appreciate your patience as we identify these issues and work to solve them."
The blog post doesn't really say much, though.
The company reiterated that shipments are going out on a first come, first served basis, admitting a few did ship out of order. But if you were hoping to know more than "it's shipping in [insert month]", you're out of luck.
(I ordered nearly an hour after pre-orders went live, so it's possible mine might not show up until the end of the month? I guess? Who knows?)
"Your Vive system will be shipped in the month noted in your order confirmation email," said the company.
Further information isn't available until they actually ship the Vive.
HTC said Vive shipments are "on track without delays", which might well be true, but when customers are left in the dark, you can't blame them for wondering what the hell is going on. Until their Vive actually shows up, or HTC can get more specific, I suspect VR enthusiasts will remain irritated.