Facebook shutters hundreds of Oculus VR demo stations at Best Buy stores

Facebook wants to transform the way people communicate with virtual reality, but U.S. consumers aren’t lining up outside Best Buy stores to try the Oculus Rift headset.

The Menlo Park tech firm is shutting down 200 of its 500 Oculus virtual reality demo stations at Best Buy stores in the United States, Business Insider reported. It was common for these stores to go days without giving a single demonstration, workers said.

“We’re making some seasonal changes and prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets,” Oculus spokeswoman Andrea Schubert told the media outlet and others. “You can still request Rift demos at hundreds of Best Buy stores in the U.S. and Canada.”

Facebook first purchased virtual reality company Oculus in 2014. It paid $2 billion to acquire the company and shelled out another $1 billion for employee retention bonuses and other deals.

The company and Facebook were sued by ZeniMax Media, which claimed Oculus used stolen technology to create its headsets. A jury this month ordered the social media giant to pay $500 million after it found Oculus guilty of violating a nondisclosure agreement and infringing on copyright, but the tech firm is appealing the decision.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked about how he thinks virtual reality will allow people to experience moments on social media as if they are there in person. But he’s also acknowledged that it will take years before virtual reality becomes mainstream.

Photo: Peter Mason tries the Oculus virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (Jeff Chiu/AP)


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  • ShadrachSmith

    Wonderful experience, except for the nausea.