HTC teamed up with Microsoft and GameStop to let people experience its $799 Vive VR headset in stores in the U.S. and Canada before they buy.
The headset and accessories became available to order on Tuesday direct from HTC at HTCVive.com, though the company’s website said the device will ship “around May.” Through the stores, consumers will be able to place reservations for June orders.
The Microsoft flagship store in New York and the Microsoft stores at Bellevue Square in Washington and City Creek Center in Utah are the first retail locations offering Vive virtual-reality demos. Microsoft at Park Meadows Mall in Colorado will offer demos later this week. Additional Microsoft stores will roll out in April with up to 30 outlets offering demos in 2016.
GameStop will offer demos in about 10 locations by mid-April.
A list of participating U.S. stores and timing will be available at HTCVive.com.
The demonstrations are open to the public to experience a host of virtual reality content available through Valve’s Stream digital-game-distribution platform for downloading computer games.
HTC’s PC-tethered headset comes with handheld motion controllers that let wearers interact with a virtual world. A pair of laser-emitting sensors located in the room places a user’s hands and head within a virtual space. The system lets users walk around a room inside a perimeter outlined by the motion controllers during the setup process.
The Vive is among multiple VR and augmented-reality headsets coming to market this year.