There are roughly 500 Oculus Rift demo stations in Best Buys across the U.S.. Around 200 of them are being shut down by Oculus owner, Facebook. This comes from Business Insider as they cite anonymous employees and internal memos.
An Oculus spokesperson told BI that the changes are “seasonal,” and that they’re “prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets.”
The word from employees is different. One Oculus Ambassador, as they’re called, said, “There’d be some days where I wouldn’t give a demo at all because people didn’t want to.”
Is VR losing its luster?
I’m not sure that’s the case. While I believe that demo stations are going unused, I think it might be unfair to paint the picture that VR is doomed. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I think these demo stations ask consumers to, essentially, step out of their comfort zones.
Strap on a headset that other folks have worn in a public place? Right, that’s daunting for some, and I can totally see a Best Buy shopper looking for some games or a new TV passing on the opportunity simply because it’s embarrassing.
That’s all guesswork, though. Maybe VR is losing its appeal. What do you think?