Oculus Rift has hit an incremental milestone almost every month this year. The first consumer version of the product went to pre-order in January. It started shipping in March. This Saturday, brick and mortar sales of the virtual reality headset start at select Best Buy locations.
But even as the headset is made increasingly available to lay consumers, it always seems a little out of reach for tech outsiders. If you've been waiting to try the future on for size, whether to determine if you want to buy one or just out of curiosity, expect to continue waiting.
Open slots for live demos at Best Buy are few, with appointments at many locations booked out until mid- or late May. Available appointments are especially scarce in the Bay Area.
A Best Buy spokesperson confirmed that there is no glitch on the sign up page for a live demo of Oculus--people are just really eager to try headsets on. "There's obviously a lot of excitement around it," said Best Buy spokeswoman Maggie Habashy.
Demand outstripping supply is no surprise when you're talking about Oculus Rift. Oculus founder Palmer Lucky tweeted 15 minutes into the first day of pre-orders, "We are experiencing insanely high load. Credit card processing is trying to stay (live) under load from mass script kiddie fraud attempts." Delivery of some pre-orders of the device is reportedly delayed two months.
So with Oculus Rift headsets available at 48 Best Buy locations starting Saturday, it's fair to ask whether the headsets will sell out and if so, how quickly. Habashy said she was unable to provide any information on that point. Considering the first batch of rifts reportedly sold out within minutes of pre-orders opening, a repeat with brick and mortar sales seems likely.
"Quantities will be extremely limited while we catch up on Rift pre-orders," read the Oculus blog post about Best Buy sales. Those facing delayed pre-orders have the option of purchasing in store and cancelling their online orders.
Amazon and Microsoft will also start selling Oculus online this weekend.