Best Buy already offers Oculus Rift demos at some of its stores, but the company is getting ready for a big push into virtual reality. Bloomberg reports that the retail chain plans to offer Rift demonstrations in 500 locations in time for the holiday shopping season, along with another 200 demos for Sony’s competing PlayStation VR.
“It’s going to be really cool and fun for our customers,” said Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly. “Virtual reality has the potential to contribute to our growth.”
Joly is betting that Best Buy can help push virtual reality from its current niche user base to a mainstream audience. If he succeeds, it could also boost profits for the company, which has been struggling to maintain steady growth. VR could be the answer to Best Buy’s problems.
Even so, the company doesn’t expect booming VR sales this year. The hardware is still too expensive and awkward to use, but Best Buy could play a big role in normalizing virtual reality for a mass audience. It’s also a great opportunity to check out some cutting-edge technology for free if you find yourself at Best Buy later this year.