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Oculus Rift Demos Hit Best Buy Stores On Saturday

It’s been a little over a month since the Oculus Rift VR HMDs started landing in consumer hands. The company has been plagued with hardware shortages and higher than expected initial demand. Many customers who ordered on day one, and even some Kickstarter backers, are still waiting for their shipment to arrive (including a friend of mine), but that’s not stopping Oculus from rolling out its retail plans.

Oculus announced today that starting this coming Saturday, May 7, Best Buy will be hosting public demonstrations of the Rift VR headset at 48 store locations around the country. The Rift demos will be part of Best Buy’s Intel Experience product showcase booths. Oculus said the demonstrations will have a few experiences to choose from. For a passive experience to get accustomed to VR, Oculus Dreamdeck will be available. If you want to experience something a little more active, you can explore the alien world of Farlands, or you can attempt to climb a mountain in The Climb.

Oculus said that there will be “extremely limited” number of Rifts available to purchase from Best Buy on May 7, but they will be available only from select locations. The company will also start selling the Rift through Microsoft's and Amazon's online stores at 9am PST on May 6.

Quantities will be limited from both of these stores too, but if you are still waiting for your pre-order, it might be worth a try. Oculus said that if you manage to buy a Rift before receiving a pre-ordered kit, you can let the company know that you have a Rift already and it will honor your pre-order bonus before the order is cancelled. The company said you won’t lose your place in line for Oculus Touch controllers, either.

Oculus has updated the Oculus Live application to include schedules for Rift demos. With the app, you can search for the store nearest to you that features a demo and schedule a timeslot up to one month in advance. Oculus said the app will also let you keep up to date with new locations as they are added. The company is starting with 48 stores, but it plans to roll out more locations throughout the summer.

Oculus plans to host demo locations like this all around the world in the future. The company said that locations in Canada and Europe will launch this fall.

However it shakes out, putting VR HMDs into retail stores so people can try them out is a wise move. We've said many times in these virtual pages that you have to see VR to believe it. It's a tough sell to ask someone to drop $600-800 on a VR HMD unless you've seen what it can do with your own eyes.

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  • Geekwad
    Nothing more important that having a good first experience too. 90fps+ minimums, no latency and max details will do wonders for seeing the future through VR clearly.....
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    I just checked the availability and schedule. Not one in Orlando, Florida, the entertainment capital of the US, but there will be demos in Tampa and Daytona Beach? WTH? What marketing geniuses at OR thought that up? Unbelievable. And the greater Atlanta area has 12 Best Buys and there is only one store there that will be hosting a demo? Wow. You can't get much more "limited" than that.
    Reply
  • Geekwad
    17906763 said:
    I just checked the availability and schedule. Not one in Orlando, Florida, the entertainment capital of the US, but there will be demos in Tampa and Daytona Beach? WTH? What marketing geniuses at OR thought that up? Unbelievable. And the greater Atlanta area has 12 Best Buys and there is only one store there that will be hosting a demo? Wow. You can't get much more "limited" than that.

    Tampa and Daytona (full time residents) are economically different than the large base of amusement park and hotel/restaurant workers of Orlando. I would assume that they assessed and assumed more people may eventually go to the Tampa/Daytona Best Buy to purchase one eventually, so put their demos in those stores.

    Reply
  • 10tacle
    17906779 said:
    Tampa and Daytona (full time residents) are economically different than the large base of amusement park and hotel/restaurant workers of Orlando. I would assume that they assessed and assumed more people may eventually go to the Tampa/Daytona Best Buy to purchase one eventually, so put their demos in those stores.

    There are more BB stores in the greater Orlando area than Tampa & Daytona Beach combined. It's a city that is more than just Disney employees and tourists. It's also home to some of the richest people in the nation. I just think they missed the mark.

    Reply
  • Geekwad
    17906829 said:
    17906779 said:
    Tampa and Daytona (full time residents) are economically different than the large base of amusement park and hotel/restaurant workers of Orlando. I would assume that they assessed and assumed more people may eventually go to the Tampa/Daytona Best Buy to purchase one eventually, so put their demos in those stores.

    There are more BB stores in the greater Orlando area than Tampa & Daytona Beach combined. It's a city that is more than just Disney employees and tourists. It's also home to some of the richest people in the nation. I just think they missed the mark.

    True......just a theory. Perhaps they assumed that good VR experiences are already to be had/tried in the Orlando area?

    Honestly I haven't even been there for a few years now, so don't know what, if any, VR is going on in the parks now.
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    Maybe they are trying to spread it out geographically, to cover more people.

    Too bad Europe and Canada aren't getting demos until this fall.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Friendly reminder: They had a VR demo at PAX East just now and a lot of people got pink-eye. Cool thing to have store demos of this stuff and all, but... y'know... pink-eye. YMMV.
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    17908881 said:
    Friendly reminder: They had a VR demo at PAX East just now and a lot of people got pink-eye. Cool thing to have store demos of this stuff and all, but... y'know... pink-eye. YMMV.

    Just have some of those replaceable covers for it.
    Reply
  • robodan918
    Now you can experience the waiting in line at best buy for promised stock only to get to the front and have them tell you "we should be receiving stock by August to September, maybe". It's called "the oculus experience"
    Reply
  • ninjustin
    One store for the whole DC/VA/MD area and it's already all booked. That's pathetic. One of the richest most educated areas in the country and one store.
    Reply