Oculus has announced their plans for Oculus Rift retail sales units in a partnership with select Best Buy stores, Amazon and Microsoft.
Starting from 7 May, these outlets will have “extremely limited” stock because Oculus say they are wanting to “catch-up” with pre-orders. Oculus pre-order system has been a shambles and pre-order customers won’t be pleased to see this announcement if they have not received their orders yet.
Oculus are attempting to placate customers by stating they can cancel their pre-orders and buy one through the new retail channels.
“We know that many pre-order customers are still waiting for their Rifts, so we’re offering those customers a chance to purchase Rift from retail instead – while keeping their pre-order benefits, like the EVE: Valkyrie Founder’s Pack and priority status for Touch pre-orders. Starting May 6th, if you’re interested, simply go to your order status and let us know you’ve purchased a Rift at retail, and we’ll cancel your pre-order. Your EVE: Valkyrie entitlement will appear in your order history.”
Oculus are also launching Oculus Live to schedule a demo at a Best Buy store.
Oculus appear to be mimicking the route taken by HTC for the Vive with live demos and “select retail” outlets. The difference here is that HTC has done a reasonably good job with their pre-orders with short wait times of around four weeks.
The launch of the Oculus Rift has been a mess, Oculus has done an appalling job at fulfilling orders and will have undoubtedly lost business to HTC. If you have the extra cash to spare for a Vive then buy it. Both systems will end up about the same price when the Oculus Touch controllers are released later this year and the Vive is by all accounts the better system.