When the second iteration of the Oculus Rift development kit begins shipping this month, it'll be available in very limited quantities. As a result, some of those who were fortunate enough to lock in a preorder for one earlier this year have realized they can now make a nice profit by reselling their preorder on sites like eBay. However, Oculus VR does not allow buyers to do this and is taking measures to cancel the preorders of those who are looking to resell their headsets.
The frequent reselling of the Rift was brought up by users on the official Oculus forums (via TechCrunch) earlier this month. Oculus is selling preorders of the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2--the latest iteration of its Rift headset--for $350. Over on eBay, these were being resold for upwards of $800. This is not allowed, though, as a quick look at an FAQ on the Oculus website states its policy quite simply: "We do not allow resale of our development kits for any reason as they are meant for developers and are not consumer products."
Oculus VR staff joined the forum thread and revealed they are seeking out resales like this and canceling the sellers' preorders before they can ship. "We found this guy's order and cancelled it. We don't allow resale of the development kit," wrote the company's community manager. "We also don't provide warranty on second-hand sales, so if you buy on eBay you are on your own."
Some concerns were raised about these cancellations, both because it's unclear how Oculus can confirm which orders it should cancel and because some users might feed the company false information in the hopes of moving up the waitlist for a dev kit of their own.
In a separate forum thread, Oculus' customer service lead explained, "Just so everyone is clear, the information provided alone was not enough to take action. We perform our own investigations with tools at our disposal to make sure that there isn't a false positive. Our community is awesome! Thank you for helping us make sure that we are getting kits into the hands of devs and shutting down profiteers."
Virtual reality has become a popular trend as of late--Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2 billion earlier this year and Sony is pursuing its own VR solution with Project Morpheus. As such, developers are eager to get their hands on the Rift's new dev kit in order to working on VR content. As the "Development Kit 2" name suggests, this version of the headset is intended for developers--a model for consumers has not yet gone on sale. That said, anyone is free to order a dev kit provided they check off a box confirming they're aware of what they're buying.
The DK2 is a desirable upgrade from the first dev kit: It offers a higher-resolution display and positional head tracking, among other improvements. More than 45,000 kits have been preordered, but only about 10,000 of those will actually be shipped this month, hence the demand for them on eBay. This isn't the first measure the company has taken against reselling--it suspended sales in China earlier this month "due to extreme reseller purchases."
Do you agree that Oculus should be ensuring people who preorder a Rift dev kit actually want one, and aren't just trying to make a profit? Let us know in the comments.
|Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX|
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