Early virtual reality headset adopters might be forced to choose how they enter into the immersive new tech environment not by virtue of UI smoothness, device build quality, app utility or even bang for buck factor.
Instead, if you’re undecided between the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, it could ultimately come down to which one will be available sooner. And that’s most likely the Vive, unless you’ve pre-ordered the Rift consumer version among the first few people in the world, and also got lucky.
Currently, both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive can be pre-ordered from their respective official websites. But at least stateside, the former has an August estimated ship date, while the latter promises to reach your doorsteps “around June” if you purchase it today. Why the two-month gap?
Well, Oculus already came out and confirmed certain delicate supply issues, not going into details regarding the mysterious component to blame however. Digitimes claims to know more, citing traditionally fickle anonymous sources in pointing the finger at “customized Fresnel lenses.”
These are such an integral part of the Rift’s design that their purportedly low yield rates could lead to the re-thinking of the “optical features, display and chassis” of the head-mounted gadget to level the “unsmooth” manufacturing process.
Unfortunately, no matter how Oculus intends to tackle the shortage, it’s going to take a lot of time for even current demand to be met, so the HTC Vive is comfortably headed for more than twice its main rival’s 2016 box-office numbers. And to think some folks waited nearly four years for this moment to come.