Unless you were able to attend a recent gaming or tech show, chances are that you haven’t tried the HTC Vive. However, HTC is going to change that by allowing demos of the VR HMD at Microsoft and GameStop stores in the U.S. and Canada.
The first stores with an HTC Vive demo are the Microsoft stores in New York City (the flagship store), Washington state (Bellevue Square) and Utah (City Creek Center). Later this week, another HTC Vive demo experience will also be available at the Park Meadows Mall in Colorado. More Microsoft stores will be added throughout this month, with a total of 30 stores planned for this year.
For GameStop stores, HTC said that Vive demos will be available in 10 locations by mid-April. The company didn’t provide a total number of GameStop stores that will have them, but you can check the full list of locations and when the demos will be available on the Vive website.
In addition to the demos, you can also pre-order the HTC Vive at the Microsoft Store and GameStop. HTC seems to have taken a page out of Valve’s playbook by allowing customers to take orders at the store. Last year, Valve partnered with GameStop, EB Games and GAME UK to sell the Steam Controller, Link and Machines.
By providing a demo experience at retail stores, HTC is expanding its VR campaign. Most of the general public has yet to actually to try VR, but with public demos throughout the U.S. and Canada, more people will finally see get to see (no pun intended) what the fuss is all about. The Vive is quite expensive at $799, but our review suggests that the experience is well worth the cost of admission.