After being backordered by weeks in many regions, Oculus Quest is now “unavailable” from Oculus in 17 out of 23 regions where the unit is sold, including the United States, Canada, and much of Europe. Facebook says the Coronavirus outbreak is to blame.
Responding to a Road to VR inquiry about Oculus Quest becoming “unavailable” in many regions, a Facebook spokesperson shared the following statement:
“Oculus Quest has been selling out in some regions due to high demand. That said, like other companies we’re expecting some additional impact to our hardware production due to the Coronavirus. We’re taking precautions to ensure the safety of our employees, manufacturing partners and customers, and are monitoring the situation closely.”
The Coronavirus, a novel respiratory virus, began in China with the first reported case on December 31st, 2019. Since then the virus has seen more than 28,000 confirmed cases and 565 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. While the Coronavirus has spread to 24 other countries to date, 99% of cases have been confined to China.
Since the holidays, Quest has been consistently backordered in many regions as Facebook has struggled to keep up with demand for the headset. With the headset now “unavailable” through the official Oculus site, the company is preventing its backorder queue from growing further.
Addressing the question of whether or not its safe to receive packages that originate in China in light of the virus, the World Health Organization advises:
“Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.”
The Rift S headset has also had spotty availability since the holidays but Facebook didn’t mention any expected impact for the headset in the statement, possibly because Lenovo handles Rift S manufacturing (unlike Quest).
Facebook gave no indication of when it expects Quest to be once again available, other than to say, “we are working to restore availability as soon as possible.
Since sometime in January, Valve’s Index headset has also been unavailable in almost all regions where it’s sold, though the company hasn’t said the shortage is related to the Coronavirus.