HTC Vive Online Orders No Longer Delayed, Retail Exposure Increases

HTC announced that it has caught up to the backlog of pre-orders for the HTC Vive. The company said that new online orders are no longer delayed and that more retail locations will soon be demoing and selling Vive hardware. 

HTC launched the pre-orders for the Vive VR system in late February. The company was met with criticism about the high price tag that the Vive commands, but even so, it seems to be selling well. HTC has been keeping its sales numbers close to the vest, but a company representative did tweet that more 15,000 units were sold in the first 10 minutes, and HTC managed to sell enough units in advance that it couldn’t deliver all of them on release day.

HTC’s shipment delay woes seem to be over now, though. The company announced that its retail partners will be expanding their networks and adding demonstration setups throughout June, bringing the total number of demo locations to over 100. Microsoft will be adding Vive demos to an additional 22 store locations across North America, Gamestop is adding 30 locations, and Microcenter will add five locations.

HTC also revealed that it has caught up to its shipping backlog. Pre-orders that have been placed through retail locations will begin to ship to customers this week. If you order a Vive from, you won’t be “pre-ordering” and waiting for weeks to receive your product, either. HTC said that new orders will now ship within two to three business days.

This news comes as yet another blow against the Rift. Oculus has been struggling to fulfill its pre-orders due to higher demand than the company had anticipated and a component shortage that slowed down production. The delayed shipments have led some people to contemplate cancelling their Rift orders and picking up a Vive, instead. The ability to place an order today and have the hardware in time for the weekend is surely going to tempt a few other people to switch sides.

A product's success isn’t just measured by its technical, ergonomic or aesthetic merits. You have to be able to put the product in the hands of real people, and HTC appears to be ready to do that.

Follow Kevin Carbotte @pumcypuhoy. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • Brandon_29
    I just want to say as an end user who waited until retail release to even demo VR. I purchased the Vive and Rift as pre-orders and I did not want to get a pre-finished dev kit. I am overly happy with my Vive purchase and I cancelled my Rift pre-order. I am a big guy and the idea of room VR didn't fully appeal to me until I got it and tried it. I normally sit to play games, but this thing is freaking amazing. Everyone in my family loves it. There are a few sit to play games and some of them are very good (like the horror ones), but far and away the immersion of the full room VR is 10 fold better than the sit to play. I don't regret the extra money spent in the slightest. In fact I would have paid double this after realizing how good it is. I am highly prone to motion sickness on rides (even in a car). I have had zero motion sickness issues with room scale and just minor with sit to play.

    All in all I give the HTC Vive a 10/10 and I am so excited about the AAA titles that will eventually be coming to VR. As for the Rift I am kinda hoping it dies a swift death as non-room scale VR is very backwards and their changes on proprietary stances really pissed me off. I don't want studios backing them and further delaying the best VR games from landing where they belong on room scale.
  • Zapin
    I also own the Vive and at the risk of sounding like a fanboy.... It is amazing.

    There are a few decent sit down experiences like Elite Dangerous or The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but the ones that blow you away are at least standing experiences that make use of the motion controllers. These are experiences that Rift people will say are not important or lame but that is them justifying their purchase to themselves and others. Eventually, they will get some form of room scale VR and touch controllers but as far as I know there is no date confirmed for the release of those.

    Why wait when the amazing HTC Vive is available without a waiting list?
  • chaz_bot
    I have been to the Microsoft store so many times to use it they are sick of me. The Vive makes the Rift look like trash.
  • 9th
    In my opinion, if it doesn't do room-scale, then it's just a head mounted display. I have a pair I bought waaay back in 1996 (look up Virtual IO I-Glasses). Occulus, Samsung and PSVR have better resolution of course, but Virtual IO worked in pretty much the same way. But, it's all about marketing I guess, so they'll label them VR anyways.
  • eklipz330
    It would be silly to get the rift at this point... spend the extra and get the whole experience. In fact, even if you can't do roomscale, it'll still work perfectly fine
  • Jeff Fx
    It's nice that they can fulfill orders as they come in, and the Vive is great, but I'm still waiting for controllers and lighthouses to be available for sale. HTC support may be the worst in the world, so I'd rather buy new devices than continue to waste my time dealing with them.
  • edhem
    When Oculus came up with the Dev Kid 1 I was tempted to buy it right away. Due to having job and kid it wasn't feasible for me to tinker around with it and get it to work so I figured I will wait for the final product. Delay after delay, I stayed an Oculus fan and was extremely excited to get my hands on the device. Then Facebook bought Oculus but they were going to stay hands off, so my excitement level dipped a little but VR rules, so I waited patiently. Then I saw the HTC Vive being reported on and there was a demo of the earlier prototype in my town which I immediately checked out. I am amazed and I wanted the Oculus Rift to come out ASAP. Then the pre-orders happened and $599 felt somewhat steep for not having controllers (x-box doesn't count) nor real tracking (yes, the rift tracker does not count either). I waited to see what HTC had to offer and my wife bought me the Vive for my birthday. I can say, I would not even consider getting the Oculus product for 200 less, especially as they keep walling themselves off faster than Israel and Berlin did. So, having a Holo Deck at home is totally worth it. I definitely recommend the HTC Vive, and I am a 6'4" guy, so size does not matter. Final conclusion, Love the HTC Vive, (don't particularly care for HTC in general) and truly despise Oculus.
  • surphninja
    I'm never an early adopter, but it's going to be really hard for me to wait until the next iteration of the headset. So excited and already have a basement room cleared out for VR.

    At the very least, I'll have to wait until the price is slashed, as I'm broke after getting my pc upgraded enough to run it. Maybe they can lower the price by christmas or tax return season.
  • picture_perfect
    Why hope for a one company monopoly. Competition in the market is good duhh...more options, more innovation, less retail cost. You only shoot yourself in the foot as a consumer. Is your ego worth all that.
  • picture_perfect
    Oculus just have to regroup.