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Facebook Closes Hundreds Of Oculus Rift Demo Stations On Best Buy, Here's Why

By Andy Franco , Feb 09, 2017 11:37 AM EST
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Facebook is taking down about 200 of its 500 pop-up Oculus Rift demo stations that were put up across the United States. Apparently, the given reason for Facebook's take downs was because of "seasonal changes."

The Oculus Rift sold at a price of $600, which is cheaper than its rival, the HTC Vive. Its touch controllers are sold for $200. The headset allows users to watch 360 degree films from Vimeo, Twitch and Facebook. The Oculus Rift has been tweaked to function on an Intel i3-6100 processor and an NVIDIA GTX 960 GPU. The headset initially had a higher minimum PC specs requirement. Users were required to have at least an Intel Core i5 4590 processor, NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon 290 video card with an 8 GB RAM.

According a spokesperson from Oculus, "We're making some seasonal changes and prioritizing demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in larger markets." This could be from a lack of interest from people, several bugs in the software, or it could be that Best Buy didn't really put in enough effort to get people to try on the virtual reality headset.

Several Best Buy workers have said that the Oculus Rift stations that were set up would go days without giving a single demonstation. One anonymous worker from Best Buy recounts that there would be times where the employee wouldn't give a demonstration at all because people didn't want to.

Trip Chowdhry, a Wall Street analyst at Global Equities Research who specializes in Consumer Goods, suggests that confidence in the virtual reality headset is "totally misplaced" and calls the tech as "Dead-on-Departure." He adds that the market for virtual and augmented reality is nonexistent with a "zero customer interest" in the Oculus Rift. He even advises investors to remove AR and VR from Facebook investment thesis.

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