Oculus Rift preorders crash site

Inside the company Mark Zuckerberg bought for $2 billion
Inside the company Mark Zuckerberg bought for $2 billion

Oculus put its futuristic virtual reality headset Rift on sale on Wednesday, but would-be customers were confronted with an age-old digital dilemma: A website crash.

Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, said on Twitter that the company's website was experiencing an "insanely high load" due to a high volume of visitors looking to pre-order the headset.

"Wow, people really want Rifts," Luckey tweeted.

Oculus set the price for the Rift at $599. The company said that the first shipments will go out on March 28 and be delivered to customers in 20 countries.

Many of the first wave of customers encountered a crashed website when they tried to place their preorders, some of whom expressed their frustration to Palmer on Twitter.

The Rift faced other setbacks leading up to this point. On New Year's Eve, Oculus announced that it needed more time before releasing a component to the VR system, a pair of motion controllers called Touch.

While there are other VR headsets, none have generated as much buzz as Rift. Luckey has said that VR will have a revolutionary impact on the way we communicate and consume entertainment.

"I think our grandchildren are going to look and say, 'Wow, can you believe that in the 2000s the only way to record a sports game or a family event was to take those still shots through a tiny window?'" Luckey said last year. "We're in for a big chance."

Related: Oculus' Palmer Luckey on virtual reality

Oculus was acquired by Facebook (FB) in 2014. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Wednesday that the Rift "is the product of years of cutting edge research and engineering." He promised more than 100 "virtual reality games and other experiences are coming this year."

"And long term, I believe virtual reality has the potential to change the way we live, work and communicate in many ways," Zuckerberg said. "Today is an important step towards that future."

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