VR is coming. In the words of Dan O’Brien, the VP of HTC Vive, “This is without a doubt the year for virtual reality.” There’s just one teensy problem standing between VR headset manufacturers and the commercial masses. Ka-ching. Cash. With the HTC Vive slated to cost just under eight hundred bucks, the marketing teams for anybody wanting to hock VR tech in this completely new market have a big brick wall between themselves and the public. Prospective buyers might think the idea of VR is cool, but they’re unwilling to shell out the $799 just to see if this entertainment system is for them.
HTC has come up with a pretty common-sense approach to this problem. Today they’ve announced that they are going to start rolling out test Vive units to retailers starting this month. This will give shoppers the ability to try out the headset and really get a feel for the kind of experiencing they would be purchasing. “Partnering with the nation’s largest, most respected retail stores is going to give every individual an opportunity to experience what virtual reality was truly meant to be – fully immersive and able to interact with content in a completely new way,” said O’Brien. Right now, HTC is partnering primarily with Microsoft and Gamestop.
It’s a fairly limited rollout, sadly. The Vive is coming to 10 unspecified Gamestop locations by the end of April and thirty key Microsoft store locations including the Flagship store in New York. With over 120 titles available over Steam, these locations will have a lot of content to choose from to showcase the headset’s capabilities.
What do you think of the possibility of a Vive unit showing up in a Gamestop or Microsoft store near you this month? Have you given HTC’s VR headset a spin before? If so, tell us about your experience was in the comments below, and let us know if you’d be willing to fork over $799 to own one.