While there has been some excitement over the official retail release of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset At Best Buy, Amazon.com and the Microsoft online store, I’m here to burst everyone’s bubbles a bit. While it’s true that the non-bundled Oculus Rifts will go on sale at 48 Best Buy locations across the United States, it’s going to be nearly impossible, if not completely impossible to actually show up at a store and purchase the device, sight unseen. At least this is the case if you believe numerous sales associates that I happened to get ahold of over the last several hours.
The complete list and subsequent map of all 48 Best Buy locations which will supposedly have Rift headsets in stock can be found here. I took the liberty of giving a number of these stores a called to see if I could weasel-out a few tidbits of information regarding supply. Although many of the stores I called, particularly, those in Brandon, FL, Bridgewater, NJ, Bayshore, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Green Bay , WI, confirmed that they will have the headsets in stock on Saturday morning, none of the sales reps working at any of these locations would reveal the total quantity expected to be available.
That’s about where the good news ends, if you can even call it that. A phone call made to the Okemos, MI location surprised me a bit. When I asked if they will have any Rifts in stock come Saturday, the friendly woman on the other end of the phone indicated to me that they have all been sold out. When I pressed her on how that is possible considering the fact that Oculus had stated that they wouldn’t be available until Saturday, she told me that they already began to take pre-orders for Saturday’s stock, and that they have no additional quantity available. She did say that they will have the display at their store this weekend so that customers can try the headset out themselves. Next I dialed up the Dayton Beach, FL location that supposedly would have Rifts in stock on Saturday. Once again, bad news. The associate said that they will not have any headsets in stock this weekend, but will have the display set up as well.
I obviously am not the only one to have called at least one of these 48 Best Buy stores expected to have Rifts in stock on Saturday. One individuals on Reddit called a Midwest location and was promptly told that they have just 3 Rifts in stock, and not to bother coming into the store as they will all easily be sold out thanks to the ability of customers to do an online order with in-store pickup prior to the store even opening Saturday morning.
It appears as if the Best Buy option really isn’t an option at all, unless one gets extremely lucky. Whether customers will have better luck on Amazon.com come Friday Morning or at the online Microsoft Store, we really don’t know, but more than likely these too will sell out within minutes. Let’s hear your thoughts on this information in the Best Buy Oculus Rift Forum on VRTalk.com.