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 HTCVive.com, 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.