HTC is promising that orders for its Vive virtual reality headset will now ship within three days of purchase, bringing an end to long preorder waits. The company announced today that orders from the official Vive website would ship worldwide within 72 hours, and that preorders through its retail partners — GameStop, the Microsoft Store, and Micro Center — will start being fulfilled this week. It's also promising to expand the Vive's presence in brick-and-mortar stores, where potential customers can try out the headset.
Preorders for the $799 Vive opened in late February, where they were immediately backordered. Buyers could expect to wait a month or more for their headset once the Vive officially went on sale in early April. We don't know how many Vives have been purchased overall, although HTC bragged of selling 15,000 units in the first 10 minutes of preorders. But it's reasonable to believe that sales are leveling off now, as the most enthusiastic early adopters get their headsets. HTC is also probably getting a clearer picture of how much demand there actually is for high-end virtual reality, so they can adjust production to match.
New purchases should ship within 72 hours
The HTC Vive's biggest competitor, the Oculus Rift, has faced significant delays since launching in March. Oculus is currently estimating an August ship date for Rift orders purchased right now, although founder Palmer Luckey said earlier this year that production was ramping up after a component shortage. We're also still waiting on a launch date for its Touch motion controllers, which will bring it up to feature parity with the Vive.
For now, people who are on the fence about the Vive — or just want to check it out — can check for a retail store location on the official site.