The Oculus Rift has been with us for almost a year and appears that retail sales are drying up at some stores.
Best Buy has just announced they are to close around 200 of the 500 Rift demo stations in their stores. The 500 demo stations were rolled out to Best Buy stores last year but they have not been utilised as much as they hoped.
Speaking to BI, Oculus Ambassador workers said, “There’d be some days where I wouldn’t give a demo at all because people didn’t want to”. Another worker said Oculus was more concerned about pushing the brand and get people talking about Oculus than making sales.
Although stores will no longer offer demos, the headset and Touch controllers will still be sold at Best Buy and larger stores will continue to offer demos. Oculus’ Andrea Schubert said that the removal was due to “seasonal changes”.
“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.”
There’s not doubt that the price point of the current generation of VR is a problem for most consumers and it’s hard to ascertain whether the buzz around VR is slowly dissipating. It’s worth keeping in mind that based on Steam numbers the HTC Vive has sold double that of the Rift.
Oculus and HTC will be keeping their fingers crossed that interest stays high or VR could easily vanish as it did in the 9os until there’s a large price drop.