Oculus Pulls Rift Demos From Many Best Buy Stores

With the holiday sales season long behind us, Oculus is streamlining its marketing strategy. The company is closing a large number of in-store demos at Best Buy locations around the country.

In May 2016, shortly after Oculus launched the Rift, the company started running live demos at select Best Buy stores around the country. The Oculus/Best Buy partnership started off with 48 stores, but that list expanded quickly. Best Buy operated roughly 500 live demo stations during the holiday shopping season.

Oculus isn’t giving up on live demos, though. The company is simply redirecting its marketing resources.

“We’re making some seasonal changes and prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets. You can still request Rift demos at hundreds of Best Buy stores in the US and Canada,” said Andrea Schubert, Communications Manager, Oculus. “We still believe the best way to learn about VR is through a live demo. We’re going to find opportunities to do regular events and pop-ups in retail locations and local communities throughout the year.”

Oculus said there are plenty of opportunities to try a live demo of the Rift, and you can use the live.oculus.com web page to search for the nearest location. Best Buy will continue to operate live demos in larger markets, and Microsoft is still operating demos in Microsoft stores. Oculus also plans to run short-term pop-up demos at sites that no longer have permanent demos, and the company will attend regular public events to give more people a chance to try the Rift out.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

    Demos? The Best Buy near me had all the Oculus Rift gear under glass, and there was never anyone around to ask me if I wanted a "demo." I just assumed they didn't have any units to sell, so they stopped trying to sell them.
  • xjumpmanx
    I got one in September last year at Best Buy and the clerk literally had no clue what I was asking for nor where they were located. I had ordered it online i found the case on the showroom floor before they figured where they were located. Then it took like 15 minutes for them to find the person who had the key to open display to retrieve unit. I get the feeling Best Buy gave little more than a passing dont give a shyt about this item.
  • computerguy72
    Modulo... Your diatribe makes it obvious you have never even tried an Oculus. I have an Oculus and a Vive - they are both lightyears beyond a gimmick and most people are shocked when they try them. Oculus does need to release a new updated version or they will get steamrolled. Higher resolution and it would make an ideal expanded Windows desktop and some app have already tried it. The applications for this tech are endless.
  • JakeWearingKhakis
    I bet if they just invested in AUTO PLAY VIDEOS that they would get all the exposure they would need....
  • Geekwad
    Google ruined 'VR' for many people getting them to think 'cardboard' was a VR experience.

    Cheap plastic 'headset' holders for phones are no better.
  • dstarr3
    Anyone who's actually gone to a Best Buy to demo one of this will know that these are probably being pulled because absolutely zero Best Buy staff are trained in... well, really anything, much less VR.
  • skoalreaver
    @Modulo nice trolling LOL
  • Sakkura
    19277928 said:
    How many people really think VR is some big miracle? They put a tiny screen right in front of your face and move the image the opposite direction you move your head. Now, bring up your camera app, hold your phone up to your face, and look around the room, are you having fun yet? OMG IT LOOKS SO REAL!!! OH WAIT... Now you're saying I'll have to do this to use a computer? How am I going to look down at my hands to see what I'm typing on? Am I going to have to buy VR gloves so I can look down at a VR version of my hands and type on a VR keyboard? And to think, some people were given these as Christmas presents... sad.

  • jaber2
    Some people get it and some don't, those who don't have no imagination and think this is a gimmick of some sort and will fade away
  • Brian_R170
    I visited a Best Buy store with 3 other coworkers about 3 weeks ago on my lunch break. It was the first time I had been in a Best Buy store for at least 2 years. I saw the Oculus demo equipment (but it was turned off and the headgear was on display in a glass case like TEAMSWITCHER said). I asked an associate for a demo he just made excuses: I need to get the key from the manager... it will take 20 minutes to set up... blah, blah. It sure didn't seem like they cared about making a sale. The store was devoid of customers, too. The associates outnumbered customers by 3 to 1. They asked how they could help but unfortunately, all were incapable of actually providing assistance beyond pointing to the area of the store where we might find what we were looking for (exactly what DSTARR3 said). Pretty sure Oculus did the right thing.