Facebook removing 200 Oculus Rift demo units from Best Buy stores

The move is down to “seasonal changes,” the firm says

By Christopher Dring.Published Thursday 9th February 2017, 8:35am GMT

200 Oculus Rift demo units will be removed from Best Buy locations in the US.

Business Insider reports that 500 stores currently hold demos, but that some units hadn't been tried for days on end. A Spokesperson told the website: "We're making some seasonal changes and prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets. You can still request Rift demos at hundreds of Best Buy stores in the US and Canada."

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"We still believe the best way to learn about VR is through a live demo. We're going to find opportunities to do regular events and pop ups in retail locations and local communities throughout the year."

The stores will continue to sell Oculus headsets and controllers.

Best Buy was the first big retail push for Oculus Rift in the US (outside of its own website). It's not unusual for demo units to get reduced and shops to re-design its layouts in the months following Christmas, not least because of the heavy reduction in footfall. However, the news will come as a slight warning to other companies looking to push into experiential VR experiences. GAME in the UK has just launched its 'Belong' range of stores, which although focuses more on PC and console game experiences, also features paid-for VR play areas.

HTC is also investing significantly in VR location-based experiences through its Viveport Arcade programme. The firm expects to have HTC Vive units playable in 5,000 locations nationwide. Even cinemas like IMAX are investing in VR areas within its businesses.

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