Facebook Closes Poor-Performing Oculus Demo Stations At Best Buy Stores

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Facebook Closes Poor-Performing Oculus Demo Stations At Best Buy Stores

Source: https://live.oculus.com/

The Oculus demo stations at Best Buy stores were designed to give you an opportunity to try Oculus’ virtual reality gear. When you go there, you could try either its high-end Rift or Gear VR. However, most of the Oculus demo stations at Best Buy would go full days without someone trying in. For that reason, Best Buy is closing down 200 of its 500 stations.

Although Oculus sold a few headsets per week during the holidays, the sales and foot traffic went down after Christmas.

However, Oculus said that consumers can still request Rift demos if they happen to be at a Best Buy store in the US or Canada.

Oculus believes that the best way to get to know virtual reality is through a live demonstration. The Facebook-owned company will offer regular events and pop-ups in local communities and other retail locations throughout the year.

Even though some Best Buy stores will close Oculus demo stations, they will still sell Oculus Rift headset and its touch controllers. The Rift costs $600 while the controllers are around $200.

Best Buy is one of the partners of Oculus to offer demonstrations and sell its Rift headset that started in April 2016. Initially, there were only 48 Best Busy stores that carried the product. However, the demos expanded to 500 stores in August last year.

At that time, Best Buy’s CEO said that having Oculus demo stations would be cool and fun for its customers. He believed that VR has the potential to contribute to Best Buy’s growth.

During the holiday season, the stores sold a few headsets a week. After Christmas, however, the foot traffic to their demo stations decreased drastically.

Some workers at a Best Buy store said that there were some days that they did not give demo because their customers did not want to. Other workers said that the software bugs would make their demo headsets unusable.

The primary goal of those demonstrations was to make people talk about Oculus and VR, instead of pressing on selling.

Facebook is planning to create its own storefronts that can sell and demo the Oculus VR headset. However, this plan is still in its early stages.

Currently, the company offers multiple job listings for its retail leads in Europe and North America.

Headset makers of virtual reality, including Oculus, have not provided their sales numbers yet. During the third quarter earnings call of Best Buy, the CEO said that there were 300,000 demos of VR given across its stores. But the number would include, not just Oculus, but also PlayStation VR of Sony.

In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion. Mark Zuckerberg said that VR is the next significant computing platform that can change the world. However, it seems that the technology has yet to go mainstream, like smartphones.

He also said that he is planning to spend billions to develop and market VR over the next day. He added that Oculus would not be profitable for awhile.

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Author: Jane Danes

Jane has a lifelong passion for writing. As a blogger, she loves writing breaking technology news and top headlines about gadgets, content marketing and online entrepreneurship and all things about social media. She also has a slight addiction to pizza and coffee.

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