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Oculus Rift arrives at Best Buy stores ahead of pre-orders

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"I can see my house from here!"

"I can see my house from here!"

  

Talking about virtual reality is one thing, but experiencing it in person is a very different matter. If you've missed out on all the demonstrations at events over the past year—or if you just want to try the retail version of the Rift—now is your chance.

Oculus has teamed up with Best Buy (opens in new tab) to provide in-store demonstrations of the Rift at 48 locations as part of the Intel Experience (opens in new tab) starting May 7. Additional stores will be added later this summer, in case none of those locations work for you. Right now, you'll be able to experience Dreamdeck (basically a bunch of VR tech demos) and Crytek's The Climb. In the near future, they'll be adding Farlands, a free game for the Rift. To help manage things, Oculus Live (opens in new tab) will allow you to schedule a Rift demo up to a month in advance.

Perhaps more interesting is this tidbit: "A small number of Rifts will be available for purchase at select Best Buy stores starting May 7 and online from Microsoft and Amazon (opens in new tab), starting May 6 at 9am PST. Quantities will be extremely limited while we catch up on Rift pre-orders." If you've pre-ordered a Rift, and you're still waiting, you can try to buy one at retail and then update your order status, canceling the pre-order but keeping your pre-order benefits.

Oculus recently offered shipping cost refunds for delayed pre-order shipments that had estimated ship dates slip into June and July.

Jarred's love of computers dates back to the dark ages when his dad brought home a DOS 2.3 PC and he left his C-64 behind. He eventually built his first custom PC in 1990 with a 286 12MHz, only to discover it was already woefully outdated when Wing Commander was released a few months later. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Brigham Young University and has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.