February 08, 2017

Facebook shutting nearly half Oculus rift demos at Best Buy but cheaper Samsung Gear VR licensed from Oculus are successful

Facebook is closing around 200 of 500 demo stations for its virtual reality headset Oculus at Best Buy stores across the country Workers from multiple Best Buy pop-ups said that it was common for them to go days without giving a single demonstration. A Best Buy worker in California reportedly said that frequent software issues with the Oculus often made the headset unusable.

Best Buy spokeswoman Carly Charlson said stores that no longer offer demos will continue to sell the Oculus Rift headset and accompanying touch controllers, which cost $600 and $200 respectively.

Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and an additional $1 billion in later payouts. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that virtual reality is the next major computing platform that will change the world, yet the technology has yet to break into the mainstream like mobile phones.

Zuckerberg recently said he plans to spend billions more on developing and marketing virtual reality over the next decade, and that Oculus "won't be profitable for awhile."

Samsung is the only company to have released actual numbers for VR headset sales, saying 5 million Gear VR headsets have been sold so far.

Superdata estimates 4.5 million Samsung Gear VRs were sold through 2016. Clocking in at number two on the list is the PlayStation VR with sales “approaching a million” by the end of 2016. This leaves Oculus, Google and HTC to split about a million units. According to this report, HTC’s Vive edged out Facebook’s Rift selling “more than 400K at its $800 price point.”

Your Samsung GALAXY smartphone works with Gear VR. Just snap your phone into Gear VR and you're in virtual reality.

Samsung Gear is sold for $45-100.

Oculus Rift headsets began shipping in 20 countries on March 28, 2016 and cost $599.




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