If you preordered the Oculus Rift headset, you might still be waiting for it — but that’s not because of the Xbox One controller.
Microsoft has debunked allegations that it is responsible for the delays customers are experiencing with their Oculus Rift headset orders. Yesterday, a post on Reddit from someone claiming to have “insider” status at Oculus VR (the company responsible for the impressive head-mounted display) went into great detail about how Rift shipments weren’t going out on time because Microsoft failed to deliver enough Xbox One controllers. This claim picked up some traction among VR-news sites, and this prompted GamesBeat to reach out to Microsoft — who debunked this claim.
“This is false,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GamesBeat. “And questions about Rift should be directed to Oculus VR.”
Oculus confirmed in a statement last week that it is facing a “component shortage,” and the Reddit post provided a compelling narrative that enabled some people to put all of the blame on Microsoft. But no matter what the source of the problem is, the delays could turn into a problem down the line for an industry that analysts like tech adviser Digi-Capital and SuperData Research predict could generate between $30 billion and $40 billion in revenue by 2020.
Reddit has since tagged the post as “confirmed fake” because an Oculus customer-support specialist, who has confirmed their identity with the moderators of the forum, laughed off the claim.
“Totally fake, but super-entertaining,” reads TheTwistgibber’s post. “Thanks for this! Keep the fanfic coming!”
The original claim doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Xbox One controller is one of the few components inside the Oculus Rift package that doesn’t require a new manufacturing pipeline. Microsoft started producing the device in 2013. Even if you consider that this is the revised edition of the gamepad with the built-in microphone jack, Microsoft started making those in early 2015. That’s opposed to the custom Fresnel lenses, an array of ARM-chip-powered sensors, and a new display for the headset. To mass produce those items, Oculus needed to spin up a whole new supply chain, and that is notoriously difficult.
And it doesn’t take a ton of demand to experience delays. The now-forgotten Ouya Android-powered microconsole went through something similar, and it had absolutely no dealings with Microsoft.