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. At the time of writing, Quest is “unavailable” in the following 17 regions.
- United States
- South Korea
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:
Virtual Reality Doesn’t Have to be Expensive. The idea that virtual reality is expensive to produce comes up over and over from businesses interested in creating an experience. The truth is although virtual reality can be expensive, it isn’t always expensive. Like most things, virtual reality’s price greatly depends on the scope of the project. Companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars investing in the technology. However, other companies like YouVisit can create the same type of experience with costs ranging in the low to mid five figures.
“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.