Oculus has gone through a tumultuous launch of its Rift HMD. First, there was the extended wait for the release in the first place. The Rift DK1 shipped in mid-2013, but it took nearly three full years for the retail version to hit the market. When it finally did launch, Oculus dropped a bomb on all of us by setting the price far higher than expected. The company had alluded to a $300-400 price range, but when it actually came to market, the Rift was cost $599.
The higher-than-expected price didn’t seem to faze many customers, though. Oculus quickly sold out of its initial production run. Within a day, the estimated shipping date for new orders had to be pushed back by several weeks because of the demand. This isn’t the worst problem to have, but Oculus was soon met with further manufacturing delays.
Ultimately, Oculus managed to get through its backlog of pre-ordered Rift HMDs last month, and it is now focusing on rolling out the retail launch to a wider market. Retail Microsoft Store locations in the United States have been offering Rift HMDs for sale since July, and Oculus has been demoing the hardware in Best Buy locations since early May. Residents of other regions have had to sit and wait on the sidelines for their chance to buy a Rift locally, but the wait is almost over. On September 20, Oculus will start selling the Rift in retail stores across Canada and in select parts of Europe.
In Canada, you’ll be able to walk into Best Buy and get a Rift. You’ll also be able to purchase one through the Canadian branch of the online Microsoft Store. Residents of Germany have three options: They can purchase through Amazon.de, MediaMarkt or Saturn. People in France can order through Amazon.fr or FNAC.
If you live in the UK, you might have the best chance of finding a Rift at a retail store. There are five locations that will stock the Rift, including Amazon.co.uk, John Lewis, Curry’s PCWorld, GAME Digital Plc, and Harrods department store.
Oculus said that the Rift packaging and documentation will be localized for the various regions with translated packaging and instruction manuals. The Oculus store will also be updated to support multiple currencies, including the British pound, the euro, Canadian and Australian Dollars, and Japanese yen.
In addition to selling the hardware domestically in more regions, Oculus is rolling out more Rift demonstrations in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The company said that by the fall, there will be over 600 retail locations with live demos.
Oculus will launch its retail presence in Canada and Europe On September 20, but eager customers can pre-order today to ensure that their hardware is on hand on Day One. The limited time offer for a free copy of EVE: Valkyrie is over, but new purchases will include a free copy of Lucky's Tale.