Oculus VR

Oculus to Scale Back Rift Demos at Best Buy

You'll still be able to buy the VR headset at Best Buy, but many stores will no longer offer demos.
Oculus to Scale Back Rift Demos at Best Buy
Image credit: Oculus via PC Mag
News reporter
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Facebook-owned Oculus is curtailing an experiment that let Best Buy shoppers try out the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset before buying one, the company told Business Insider this week.

The demonstrations began last May and were available in as many as 500 Best Buy stores nationwide. That number will now be scaled back to around 300, according to an Oculus spokesperson, who attributed the reduction to a change in seasonal demand.

"We're making some seasonal changes and prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets," the spokesperson told Business Insider.

If you're hoping to test drive a Rift before you buy one, you can check the Oculus website for a list of Best Buy stores that are still participating. The site allows you to schedule an appointment for your demo, which includes VR vignettes with Oculus Dreamdeck, rock climbing in The Climb and a brief tour through the alien worlds of Farlands.

For those who can't get to a participating Best Buy, Oculus still plans to do "regular events and pop ups in retail locations and local communities throughout the year," according to the spokesperson.

The move to scale back retail demonstrations comes one week after Oculus was ordered to pay $500 million in damages to video game publisher ZeniMax Media, which sued it for misappropriating technology that was later used in the Rift. ZeniMax initially leveled multiple charges against Oculus, including putting its trade secrets and copyrighted computer code at risk, but the jury cleared Oculus of most of them.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who testified in the ZeniMax trial, is still bullish about Oculus and VR in general. At the Oculus developers' conference last year, he said he believes that in 20 years, VR will become the main form of computing.

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