Curious about virtual reality, but not ready to make that sizable investment? Soon you can take the new technology for a spin at your neighborhood GameStop. According to IGN, the retailer recently announced that its "larger stores will have VR demos." GameStop has set a goal of sending out 100 demo units of the HTC Vive, a significant jump from the 10 the company initially began with.
The move makes sense, as we're starting the countdown to the holiday shopping season. Letting people try before they buy is a shrewd and time-tested strategy for retailers that helps build interest — and hopefully sales.
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Who doesn't remember going into an Electronics Boutique or Babbage's and playing the hottest new game or console months before it comes out? And there's definitely money in them thar hills as the company estimates the nascent VR market bringing in $6.9 to $13.6 billion between 2016 and 2018.
Although GameStop is focusing its main push on its larger outlets, there is a plan to bring VR to its smaller stores, though the details are fleeting. The company is also planning on rolling out PlayStation VR demos, but it looks like GameStop might be hedging its bets, citing concerns about the power needed to run the device and having to push a whole new console in the PlayStation NEO, Sony's mid-generation console upgrade.
No matter how sales turn out for any of the companies involved, the real winners are consumers looking to get their first taste of virtual reality.