It’s often said that modern virtual reality (VR) has to be experienced to be fully understood. It now seems that Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) feel the same way, as the head-mounted display (HMD) manufacturer intends on offering 500,000 demo stations to retail partners across North America.
SIE Vice President of Marketing, John Koller, presented at a Gamestop investors meeting last week, stating that “Trial drives the conversion to purchase… We’ll have a fantastic technology, but you need to get your hands on it.”
GameStop will be a “key launch partner” for SIE. According to Fortune, the retailer will have a “significant” amount of stores with “dedicated PlayStation VR demo stations” beginning June 2016.
Opportunities to experience VR at retail outlets are growing, with Best Buy and Verizon having partnered with Samsung for the Gear VR and the HTC Vive already appearing at Microsoft Stores and Gamestop throughout the US, and at Harrods in London, UK. Oculus VR has not yet announced any similar plans for the Oculus Rift.
The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are available to consumers now, but suffer from a long tail in as-yet-unfulfilled orders. The PlayStation VR is set to launch in October 2016, and VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on all three HMDs.