Virtual Reality is something that has been sought for ever since the birth of science fiction. Today we have it – Oculus Rift and HTC Vive present us with an incredible experience… but only if we can afford it.
While VR is here; it is incredibly expensive to own a decent VR headset. Not only do you need to spend around 800$ on a VR Headset, but you also need to pay at least 500$ more on a PC that can support the headset.
Sure you could get something like Samsung’s Gear VR and try out the Minecraft: VR Edition on that – but the Gear VR is like strapping a phone’s display in front of your face (literally), while the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have been built from the ground up to give an immersive VR experience. You can’t compare a Prius with a Lamborghini, even though both serve the same essential purpose.
In fact, the sub-par experience of the Gear VR and other VR headsets like it has been driving people away from VR; because the experience on an affordable VR headset is not good enough, most people do not even consider to try the better experiences available on an HTC VIve or Oculus Rift.
Microsoft + Minecraft
Microsoft bought Minecraft in 2014 – since then they have worked on expanding the Minecraft presence across devices. VR has been an important front in this expansion and Oculus has been a big part of it.
Starting from today; if you want to try out VR – all you have to do is walk into a Microsoft Store and get one for free – without an appointment. The demo will be on Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta with an Oculus Rift.
This presents an excellent opportunity to those who have not tried VR yet, and those who have only had a sub-par experience with the cheaper headsets.
During the experience, you will also get to try out PC Gaming chairs by NEEDforSEAT.
VR presents an incredible experience – but it is not cheap just yet. Those who attempt to make it more affordable, also deteriorate the experience; headsets like Oculus Rift or HTC Vibe can be utterly immersive, but the price barrier remains a challenge.
The Microsoft Stores
The demo will be available at every Microsoft Store across North America starting from October 3rd. If you can’t wait till then, the stores listed below have already begun giving the free demos.
Ala Moana Center (Honolulu)
Aventura Mall (Aventura, Florida)
Beachwood Place Mall (Beachwood, Ohio)
Bellevue Square (Bellevue, Washington)
Bridgewater Commons (Bridgewater, New Jersey)
Burlington Mall (Burlington, Massachusetts)
Christiana Mall (Christiana, Delaware)
City Creek Center (Salt Lake City)
Dadeland Mall (Miami)
Danbury Fair Mall (Danbury, Connecticut)
Fashion Valley (San Diego)
Flagship Microsoft Store New York
Freehold Raceway Mall (Freehold, New Jersey)
Garden State Plaza (Paramus, New Jersey)
Houston Galleria (Houston)
International Plaza (Tampa, Florida)
Kenwood Towne Centre (Cincinnati)
Lenox Square (Atlanta)
Mall at Millenia (Orlando, Florida)
Mall of America (Bloomington, Minnesota)
Natick Mall (Natick, Massachusetts)
Oakbrook Center (Oak Brook, Illinois)
Oak Park Mall (Overland Park, Kansas)
Park Meadows (Lone Tree, Colorado)
Penn Square Mall (Oklahoma City)
Pioneer Place (Portland, Oregon)
Prudential Center (Boston)
Roosevelt Field (Garden City, New York)
Scottsdale Fashion Square (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Somerset Collection (Troy, Michigan)
Southpark (Charlotte, North Carolina)
South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, California)
St. Louis Galleria (St. Louis)
St. Johns Town Center (Jacksonville, Florida)
Stanford Shopping Center (Palo Alto, California)
Stonebriar Centre (Frisco, Texas)
Streets at Southpoint (Durham, North Carolina)
The Domain (Austin)
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (Arlington, Virginia)
The Fashion Mall at Keystone (Indianapolis)
The Florida Mall (Orlando, Florida)
The Mall at Rockingham Park (Salem, New Hampshire)
The Shops at La Cantera (San Antonio)
The Shops at Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, California)
The Village at Corte Madera (Corte Madera, California)
The Woodlands Mall (Woodlands, Texas)
The Westchester (White Plains, New York)
Tysons Corner Center (Tysons Corner, Virginia)
University Village (Seattle)
Walden Galleria (Buffalo, New York)
Walt Whitman Mall (Huntington Station, New York)
Westfarms Mall (Farmington, Connecticut)
Westfield Century City (Los Angeles)
Westfield Valley Fair (Santa Clara, California)
Woodfield Mall (Schaumburg, Illinois)
Woodland Hill Mall (Tulsa, Oklahoma)