While, there is no doubt that many Oculus Rift pre-order customers are more than just a bit peeved at the fact that many are still waiting for their headset to arrive in the mail, there may be both some good news as well as possibly some frustrating news for these irritated customers. Oculus has just announced that starting on Saturday May 7, the Rift will be available for sale in 48 Best Buy retail stores across the United States. This is part of the Intel Experience, and will eventually roll out to the remainder of BestBuy locations throughout the year.
Oculus says that a limited quantity of Rift headsets will be available for sale at each of these stores and that live demos will be set up within these Best Buy locations for shoppers to get what may be their very first VR experience. To make setting up a demo easier, as well as locating the closest participating Best Buy location, Oculus has launched the Oculus Live page. Additionally, limited quantities of the Rift headset will be available on the at the Microsoft online store as well as on Amazon.com starting at 9AM PST on Friday, May 6.
“For many, this is a first chance to jump into truly immersive VR. We’ll have a variety of experiences that everyone can enjoy, including VR vignettes with Oculus Dreamdeck. Ultimate thrill seekers will be able to experience what it’s like rock climbing on the side of a cliff with The Climb, and in the coming weeks, you’ll be able to explore the beautiful alien world of Farlands,” wrote the Oculus Team on their blog this afternoon.
I’m sure it became immediately obvious to Palmer Luckey and the Oculus team that this move would irritate those who are still waiting for their pre-order shipments to arrive. This is why Oculus has decided to allow pre-order customers, who have yet to receive their order, to purchase the headset at retail, and still have their pre-order benefits such as the Eve: Valkyrie pack remain intact. If you are still waiting for your pre-order and decide to take the retail route, all you have to do is login to your order status page and let Oculus know. You will then be given a credit for the extra Eve: Valkyrie bonus pack within your account. while your order for the actual headset will be canceled.
It appears as if the massive supply shortage is about to ease up as well, as the company founder Palmer Luckey tweeted the following message only a couple hours ago:
“Good news for pre-orders. Best case scenario given the situation. Expanding retail after we catch up will be huge.”
Let’s hear your thoughts on this latest news coming from Oculus in the Best Buy Oculus Retail forum on VRTalk.com.