High-street electronics giant Currys PC World is reportedly to open HTC Vive demo rooms in selected stores, allowing punters a chance to play with virtual reality hardware before splashing their cash on a headset of their own.
While there is much excitement surrounding the impending launch of commercial VR headsets from HTC and Oculus VR, it is tampered with caution: previous generations of virtual reality hardware have failed to catch on and quickly died, and while the technology today is considerably more advanced that's no guarantee of success. One particular barrier, unsurprising given the first-generation nature of the devices, is price: buyers can expect to pay as much as £750 for the virtual reality hardware itself, and will need a PC costing at least another £600 on top in order to drive the device.
To help ease people into such a major purchase decision, Currys PC World is reportedly opening demonstration rooms in at least three of its flagship shops. In a since-removed post for StartReply, spotted prior to its deletion by PCR Online
, employee Joshua Ball claimed that HTC Vive hardware was due to arrive in-store on the 17th of March. Including his own, three stores were named as participating in the programme: Leeds, Tottenham Court Road, and Reading.
Currys PC World has neither confirmed nor denied Ball's claim, which joins rumours that Overclockers UK may open its own Vive-powered virtual reality demonstration area.