It looks like Facebook is paring back its retail push for the Oculus VR. With demo stations currently set up in 500 Best Buy stores, Facebook was in a pretty good position to get customers sampling the VR headset for themselves. Now we’re hearing that Facebook will be shutting down around 200 of those booths because they’re underperforming.
That’s according to anonymous demo station workers speaking to Business Insider. They say that some of these demo booths will go days on end without giving out a single demo, which is a major contributing factor into why some of them are being shut down. Business Insider acquired an internal memo on the matter as well, which says that booths are being shut down because of “store performance.”
When asked about the shut down, Oculus spokeswoman Andrea Schubert said basically the same thing, only with a more pleasant spin on it. “We’re making some seasonal changes and prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets,” she said. “You can still request Rift demos at hundreds of Best Buy stores in the US and Canada.”
Some of these workers – known as “Oculus Ambassadors” – indicate that while demos and sales were somewhat steady before Christmas, they’ve dropped off significantly since then. In that case, it’s easy to understand why Facebook wants to shut down some of these booths. It also suggests that the remaining 300 are still seeing frequent requests for demos and maybe even regular sales.
Even if a Best Buy store is no longer offering demos, you’ll still be able to buy an Oculus VR headset there, as it sounds like all stores will continue to carry the product. Oculus has been in the news quite a bit recently, with the long running lawsuit between ZeniMax Media and Oculus being decided in favor of ZeniMax last week. It probably won’t be long before we hear more about that case, so stay tuned for more.
SOURCE: Business Insider