Due to what a representative has termed “extreme reseller purchases,” the Occulus Rift DK2 (Dev Kit 2) is no longer available in China.
The Occulus Rift has been a media darling since its successful run at crowd funding and has seen massive developer support. Versions of the initial development release have been a hot commodity online since their release to testers and software developers last year, but the product’s state as a non-commercial development release has kept copies in limited hands. Occulus wants to keep it that way until the final consumer product is completed, and to do so it seems the company is having to ban an entire country from purchasing the development kits at all.
The story of Occulus’ issues in China premiered on Reddit, with user txz8096 posting the following:
Many orders in China has been cancelled without any reasons.
The rift has an official announcement which said “we’re slightly behind in manufacturing and there’s currently a high chance that some developers with estimated shipping in July may not have their DK2s shipped until August.”
But in the cancellation email, they didn’t mention about the reason why they cancel the order. We understand the difficulty of manufacturing, but we cannot accept that our preorder is cancelled without any reasons, even without any apologies.
After some speculation on the whys of Occulus’ move, members of the product’s development team took to the forum to respond.
Yes, it is a bummer that we’ve had to suspend sales in China due to extreme reseller purchases. We need to make sure that we are doing what we can to make sure that resellers that are looking to flip our product for a profit are not taking stock away from legitimate developer purchases globally. Our product, in its current form, is a developer kit, meant for developers that develop VR content. We are looking into alternative ways to make sure that our development kits are getting into legitimate developer hands in China. If you are an enthusiast, we kindly ask that you wait for the consumer Rift. It will be worth the wait.
What does this mean for the future of the Occulus Rift in China? That’s hard to say. Doubtless units will return to availability once the Occulus team has figured out a way to handle the problem with resellers, but until then the largest country in the world has been locked out of access to the device.
Occulus’ stand is a harsh one to take, but a necessary evil to prevent access to hardware that is as of yet not ready for market release.