Despite its recent announcement of a October 11 release date and $400 price tag, there are still a few things left unanswered about PlayStation VR. To combat this, PlayStation is banking on in-store demos to capture the attention of those still on the fence. The publisher will be partnering with GameStop to see this plan through starting this June.
During a GameStop investors meeting last week, VP of Marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment, John Koller, gave shareholders a preview of the device. This same preview is what consumers can expect to get their hands on at GameStop stores. According to Koller (via Fortune) the publisher will offer gamers over 500,000 in-store demos from June through December of this year.
This is exciting news for anyone who wants to jump aboard the hype train but still needs proof it’s a viable entertainment option. Koller acknowledged this as well, stating that this kind of experimental marketing will do wonders for the device going forward. It’s different from when the publisher launched the still astronomically selling PS4 in 2013. Virtual reality technology “needs to be lived to be believed.”
Trial is what will lead consumers to buy VR. With that in mind, Tony Bartel, COO of GameStop, promises a significant number of their stores are to be equipped with dedicated PSVR stations for demoing. Additionally, Sony is also planning to tour trucks nationally that will stop at stores and show the headset to consumers.
According to GameStop CEO Paul Raines, PSVR is by far the easier of the virtual reality headsets to set up. “The space required to demo is small, so I expect we’ll have a lot of demos in stores unlike the Oculus or HTC [Vive].” This could be a win for both companies, especially since the PlayStation Nation is expected to come out in droves to purchase the new device. Those who waited in line to be the first purchasers of PS4 in winter 2013 are “going to be the early active PlayStation VR consumer.”
Are you still not sure of virtual reality? If not, how much of an impact do you think in-store demos will have on you purchasing a VR device down the line? The wait to decide won’t be a long one. June is just around the corner, and the device’s October release is coming quickly.