The highly-anticipated HTC Vive virtual reality headset has been released earlier this week on the 5th of April, and in the U.S., the head mounted display is already demoed in a handful of brick & mortar stores belonging to Microsoft, including the Microsoft Flagship store in New York, the company’s store at City Creek Center in Utah, and in Washington at the Microsoft Bellevue Square store. Fortunately for prospective customers who may want to have a bit of first-hand experience with the HTC Vive before making a purchase, HTC just announced that the Vive will be physically demoed in more Microsoft and GameStop stores across the U.S. and Canada in the coming weeks.
The HTC Vive is an impressive piece of computing technology but it does come at a rather hefty price. Moreover, the HTC Vive is one of the first high-end virtual reality headsets to hit the market and thus, it is part of a new category of products. With that being said, prospective customers who might entertain the idea of buying the HTC Vive might not know what to expect, and due to the nature of VR, it’s not easy to get a real sense of what virtual reality truly has to offer from online videos. Fortunately, HTC has announced its plans to put more HTC Vive demo units into the hands of prospective customers, and will do so with the help of Microsoft and GameStop. By the end of this week, Microsoft’s store at the Park Meadows Mall in Colorado will get an HTC Vive demo unit of its own, and an additional 30 Microsoft stores are expected to follow by the end of the year. In the coming weeks, GameStop will also have HTC Vive demo units in up to 10 locations.
The HTC Vive demo units will be backed by Alienware Area-51 PCs, and the demo will consist in a 10-minute loop showcasing several virtual reality titles, including Space Pirate Trainer, Tilt Brush, theBlu, and Job Simulator. However, although the aforementioned retail stores will invite prospective customers and curious shoppers to experience virtual reality first-hand, the HTC Vive will only be available for back-order in these locations until June.