Oculus closes 200 Best Buy demo stations, begging the question 'does anyone want to demo VR?'


Is wiping the headset down between uses enough?

Forget the idea of pinkeye and the fear of germs from slipping your head (and hair/part of your face) into a VR headset that’s been used hundreds of times, VR has always had a “demo” problem.

When I was first shown VR, it was some lousy tech demo that turned me off. But after strapping in my consumer grade Oculus Rift and spending several weeks immersed in every launch game, I was more than happy with the idea of spending a lot of my time gaming with modern virtual reality. It’s just such a massive step up from older technology, but it’s a hard sell — literally, since the cheapest units cost whereabouts of $500 or more, before you even have the hardware to run it.

Where am I going with this? Well, VR is still a niche thing in the consumer circuit, and even though wireless headsets and cheaper subsized pricing is coming, it’s not there yet. People are responding to that, as 200 of Oculus’ 500 demo stations at Best Buy’s across America are closing down for good. Oculus VR calls it a “seasonal” change, but when roughly half your demo stations are gone, there is a problem. According to Best Buy employees that spoke to PC Gamer, some days they don’t even have one personwho wants to try out the headset.

That’s a problem. One among many, if the VR industry is going to force its will upon the public that their way is better. In some ways it is, sure, but I don’t like the marketing and the cultist indoctrination approach that many have tried to use.

Best Buy is closing roughly 200 of its 500 Oculus Rift demo stations [PC Gamer]