Facebook-owned Oculus is closing hundreds of Rift demo stations at Best Buy locations in the United States, due to sagging interest, according to reports.
Business Insider claims 200 of the 500 pop-up locations will be shut down because the specially-trained staff can go days without giving a single demonstration.
The report cites an internal memo sent to a third-party contractor, but Oculus itself says shuttering the stations is simply down to ‘seasonal changes.’
“We’re making some seasonal changes and prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets,” she spokesperson Andrea Schubert.
“You can still request Rift demos at hundreds of Best Buy stores in the US and Canada.
“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.”
Related: Oculus Rift long-term review
Best Buy will continue to sell the Rift headsets and touch controllers. However, the closures do not bode well for the future of the Oculus Rift.
Surely, at a point when the headset has been on sale for almost a year, Oculus would have hoped the Rift would be pushing into the mainstream and attracting more interest from consumers.
However, development of killer apps has proved slow and there’s still somewhat of a leap of faith required for consumers spending a small fortune on buying a headset, the expensive touch controllers and a high-powered PC.
For what it’s worth, speaking from personal experience, the Best Buy experience does little to wow potential Rift buyers, especially when the rep doesn’t show up until an hour after the appointment.
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