The Long Wait For An Oculus Rift Or HTC Vive Is Over

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If you've been putting off buying one of the two current top-of-the-line virtual reality headsets because of the delays with shipping one to your doorstep, the wait is over. A month after HTC announced the same thing, Oculus is telling customers that it finally has production up to speed and enough stock to ship out all new orders within a couple of business days.

In a post on its company blog, Oculus said that all Rift pre-orders -- made from February 29 until the consumer virtual reality headset's official launch date of April 5 -- have shipped to customers, and all new online orders are shipping within two to four business days. The company has used the same post to apologise for the delay, thanking customers for their patience: "We want to apologize for the delays in getting Rifts to doorsteps. We appreciate that without your support, VR wouldn’t be where it is today."

Rift is being shipped to more retail locations around the US like Best Buy and Microsoft Stores, with over 500 demos being set up before October. Interestingly, in Australia, the country's sole Microsoft Store actually demos VR content with a HTC Vive, possibly since Oculus doesn't have any local presence in a region where HTC has sold smartphones and accessories for years.

The Rift's hand controllers won't be out until the very end of this year, though, with the blog saying: "We’re on track to launch Touch and introduce true hand presence along with an amazing lineup of games and experiences later this year. We’ll have lots more to share about Touch and the 30+ launch titles at OC3." That points, we think, towards a Christmas shipping time, with more evidence in a tweet from Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe pointing clearly towards an on-sale date of the fourth quarter of 2016. Touch development kits -- by the thousand -- are already with Oculus developers.

Want to order one of the two headsets right now? A full HTC Vive headset, two wireless hand controllers, two room-scale VR base stations and accessories will set you back a few dollars over $US1000 including shipping -- about $1320 at current exchange rates -- with a 10 per cent Australian customs levy charged on top, coming in at around $1450 landed at your door. An Oculus Rift, without wireless Touch controllers but with an Xbox One controller instead as well as accessories, will cost you $US780 including shipping -- about $1025 at current exchange rates -- with that just-over-$1000 price tipping it into the same 10 per cent Customs levy territory, coming in at $1130 landed.