4.19.2016

GameStop Doubles Down on VR

With this latest piece of news, virtual reality (VR) is poised to be the next big thing in gaming.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that HTC Vive headsets will be demoed in select retail stores, and just yesterday it was announced that GameStop would also be demoing Playstation VR headsets.

HTC Vive
Credit: The Verge

As of this writing, three Microsoft stores already have HTC Vive headset demos and by the end of this month, so will 12 more. Microsoft has stated that customers must be 18 years or older to play, although this seems to be for liability reasons rather than the games’ content. Currently, HTC plans for 30 Microsoft stores to have HTC Vive headsets by the end of the year, with GameStop deploying headsets in 10 locations beginning April 16.

Not to be outdone, Sony has declared that they will bring Demo Playstation VR headsets to a “significant” number of GameStop locations between June and December (just in time for the holidays).

PlayStation VR
Credit: The Verge

With the HTC Vive sitting at $799 and the PlayStation VR at $399 (the PlayStation 4.5 is expected to cost around $400), I don’t expect either of these headsets to be this holiday season’s “must-have” item without some serious PR. Watching famous YouTubers freaking out is far less impactful than experiencing VR for yourself.

So far, the demo headsets are few in number and placed in heavily-populated cities like New York and Salt Lake City, so many holiday shoppers will not be able to try one by the time Christmas rolls around.