Update, 7/6, 12:45 PM EDT: After the surprising wave of Vive VR kits at Micro Center stores, HTC announced an official stock stabilization of $800 on Tuesday. utilitiesVR candidates in 24 countries can expect orders to ship direct from HTC within “2-3 business days”.
HTC took the opportunity to confirm that in-store Vive demos will land in 100 stores by the end of June, spanning Microsoft Stores, GameStop stores, and Micro Center locations.
Original report: With pre-order woes and supply limits lifted, opportunities to walk into a store and buy a high-end virtual reality system are increasing. Oculus has announced some specific demos and in-store purchase options, while its main rival, the HTC Vive, has had fewer hype-building announcements.
Which makes this weekend’s news a little surprising: The HTC Vive is now in select Micro Center stores, ready for anyone with $800 (before tax) to spare. The news was announced via an online mailer and members of the Vive Reddit community have confirmed on-site demos and purchasable systems in stores across the country.
Conversely, these Vive boxes don’t appear to be for sale on Micro Center’s online store, but Vive fans have begun to report much shorter time lags between orders on HTC’s site and deliveries since the system’s launch has dwindled. Still, there’s something to be said for the combined, real-life experience of the Vive headset, tracked controllers, and ability to walk around games and apps. If you do this at a participating Micro Center demo station, you’ll be sure to read more about it.
We recommend calling your local Micro Center to confirm if it has a demo kiosk or Vive boxes (and mortgage your house so you can use a compatible Windows PC) before you start your trip this weekend begins.