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The Oculus Rift Comes to Retail Stores This Week, But Pre-Order Customers Still See Delays

The Oculus Rift headset is tested by attendees at the Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court in London.

Oculus Rift pre-orders have been stacked up with delays for a while now, but the virtual reality headset will nonetheless enter into retail distribution as of this week. Specifically, 48 Best Buy stores across the United States plan to stock the device starting on May 7th.

The blog post announcement by Oculus about the retail plan also states that the headset will be available for purchase from online distributors, such as Amazon, starting on May 6 at 9:00 AM PST. Given how slowly the pre-orders have been delivered, however, ordering the headset online seems like it might not pan out. Oculus’ announcement openly encourages pre-order customers to cancel their order and go to Best Buy instead, if they live near a participating store: “We know that many pre-order customers are still waiting for their Rifts, so we’re offering those customers a chance to purchase Rift from retail instead – while keeping their pre-order benefits.”

Even that might not work, though, because “quantities will be extremely limited” at the Best Buy stores. Oculus cites the pre-order delays as the reason for this. Basically, there aren’t enough Oculus Rifts to go around, so hopefully you don’t mind waiting another month or two!

Oculus also put out a new trailer for one of their VR experiences, called The Climb, on YouTube today:

Looks pretty cool, unless you’re afraid of heights. Or afraid of opening your wallet further. The Climb retails at $50, which could seem reasonable to you, compared to other triple-A games for consoles (these usually cost $60). That said, the Rift itself already costs $599 and may require you to make some expensive computer upgrades to be sure you can run a VR experience like The Climb.

The Oculus Rift is definitely an exclusive item, no matter how you look at it. If you’re lucky enough to get one, share it with your friends … but please, don’t make them play BigScreen (it sounds horrible)!

(via The Verge, image via Bago Games on Flickr)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).