The last two months has seen the launch of Virtual Realities two most anticipated headsets, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and whilst the tech has lived up to the hype, the launch hasn’t gone as smoothly as planned. Now whilst the launch has been catastrophic on an Apollo 1 sort of level it has left a lot of early adopters and keen VR enthusiasts angry and in the dark as to when they’ll actually receive the hardware they pre-ordered so long ago. Now, the technology involved is ground breaking but hiccups like this do tarnish a brands reputation and can even turn the once faithful into non-believers. Whilst this won’t affect VR in the long run, especially considering most people are blissfully unaware of the technology, it does leave the gate wide open for Sony to come through and show them how a commercial launch should be done.
In reality, we shouldn’t have expected anything else from the Oculus launch, neither they or Facebook (who own’s Oculus) have any experience when it comes to manufacturing and shipping hardware on a grand scale like this. When hiccups like this happen they are a lot harder to solve and the time-scale that the problem can be fixed in isn’t easily determinable as your so reliant on other people. Sony, however, have had decades to work out the kinks, developing strong relationships with all of their suppliers and really nailing their manufacturing process.
Its their expertise in manufacturing that have made their headset more comfortable and stylish than any of the others and I highly doubt we’ll see any delivery problems when it comes to the launch later this year. The company have been putting together plastic and metal since walkman’s and I can’t recall any sort of manufacturing problem through their history. Just look at how well they did integrating into the games console market when they dropped the first PlayStation.
Sony have been set up to dominate the commercial market for VR in 2016, despite launching 6 months later and with extremely small amounts of marketing so far. We definitely expect them to be the top of everyones list come this Christmas. You might want to pre-order yours now before everyone else does.
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