Sony will start demoing its PlayStation VR virtual reality headset at US retailer GameStop from June, allowing the public to experience the highly-anticipated product first hand before its worldwide release in October. Fortune reports that Sony's vice president of marketing John Koller met GameStop executives and investors at the weekend (15-17 April) to preview the product to them and discuss the tech company's plans to demo PSVR with 500,000 in-store demos from June to December.
Given the nature of virtual reality and the price of each headset on the market, it is certainly a product that people will want to try before they buy. Koller agrees, reportedly saying the tech ""needs to be lived to be believed".
Sony appears to understand this then, and will be doing their best to get the headset into people's hands prior to launch and afterwards, in the run up to Christmas. It's unlikely that Sony's demo plans concern only the US. While nothing has been confirmed as of yet, demos are likely in all major territories.
The June date implies that the demos will be made available during or around this year's E3 trade show, which runs 14-16 June.
GameStop CEO Paul Raines said: "We've played all the VR that's come through our office, and the setup time for PlayStation VR is significantly easier and the space required to demo is small, so I expect we'll have a lot of demos in stores, unlike the Oculus or HTC."
The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are high-end, premium headsets for PC. Both headsets launched in late March/early April at a higher price than the PSVR, but neither will be directly competing with the Sony product. The Vive has already been demoed at select GameStop stores.