Oculus says it'll start selling its Rift VR headset beginning in Q1 2016. A fundamental problem with selling VR gear to most consumers is that they'll want to see it in action, or else they'll be left wondering what the fuss is all about. It appears that Oculus has already given a lot of thought to this issue. RoadToVR interviewed CEO Palmer Luckey at E3 2015, and they learned that he wants to solve that problem with in-store displays that will provide shoppers with a first-hand demo experience.
There's no word on whether the demo spots will be assisted or completely unmanned, and RoadToVR thinks that poses an issue for potential buyers. At trade shows, Oculus assistants take care of focusing the lenses and wiping the headsets between each user's time with the device, ensuring an optimal experience. Retail displays may present other problems—if security cables or containers are used, they might make the headset too unwieldy, which is at odds with the light and comfortable experience that Oculus has crafted with the final version of the Rift.
For the legions of folks that haven't had an opportunity to spend time in VR, these in-store displays may be the first chance they get to strap on the goggles, so a good experience seems critical to us. We'll keep an eye out for more details on the Oculus retail experience as we draw closer to the Rift's aforementioned Q1 2016 launch.