The Oculus Rift is set to be stocked in certain branches of ‘Best Buy’ across the US from May 7th.
It’s great news for VR that the most hyped headset will finally be in stores, with around 48 stores even having demo pods so that keen consumers can trial the device in all it’s glory. These particular branches will be showcasing two big titles; Crytek’s The Climb and Oculus’ Farlands. There will also be other apps and experiences available to demo including Oculus Dreamdeck. Whilst the Oculus will only be available to purchase in certain branches to start off with, the amount of stores to take it on will increase as the availability (and consequently demand) grows throughout the year.
Whilst this really is great news for the virtual reality industry, exposing more people to the phenomenon that is VR, it’s not so great for the original fans and backers that pre-ordered the device. Many of who are still waiting on theirs to be delivered and could still have to wait up to two months before receiving theirs. Imagine pre-ordering a device for delivery on release day and then finding out that anyone off the street could walk into a shop and buy one before you actually receive yours. What does this say about the importance of the initial early adopters of the Oculus and how they value this support?
Oculus have realised that this move could end up annoying their customers who have already invested so they have proposed that any customer yet to receive their headset can walk into a Best Buy and purchase a headset without losing out on their pre-order benefits. Upon purchasing a Rift in store – consumers then have to notify Oculus to cancel their original order and they will then be giving the free game and bonus in the process – which sounds like a chore to me. Obviously this is only accessible to those who placed pre-orders and also live close to a best buy that happen to stock the Rift.
Those who still want to order their device online will be able to purchase from either the Microsoft store and Amazon from 9am EST (2pm BST) on Friday May 6th. However bare in mind that quantities are extremely limited due to the still dealing with the back log of pre-orders and component shortage.
We’ll be seeing physical store sales across Europe including many in the UK this autumn so keep your eyes and ears peeled. We’ll be sure to keep you updated when you can demo one in store in the UK at @VRandstuff