Here's how you can try - and possibly buy - an Oculus Rift at a retail store

First Best Buy, then...?

Oculus Rift is going retail mainstream, yo.

Beginning May 7, you'll be able to try and possibly buy the premiere VR viewer at 48 Best Buy stores in the US.

This marks the Rift's first foray into the brick-and-mortar retail space. Shoppers can get what will likely be their first taste of virtual reality at the stores' Intel Experience centers, where the headset will be hooked up to an Intel-powered PC.

The main punch here is that the public can slip on a Rift and experience demos like The Climb, Farlands and other snippets, seeing for themselves what all the hype (warranted or not) around virtual reality is all about.

To help facilitate the process, Oculus launched an online scheduler called Oculus Live that will let folks pencil in a Rift demo at a nearby Best Buy. Appointments can be made up to one month in advance.

Time to buy

But what if you like Rift so much that you want to buy one on the spot?

Oculus says there will be a "small number" of headsets available for purchase at "select" Best Buys on May 7, too. You can also grab one from Microsoft and Amazon's online counters beginning at 9am PT on May 6.

However, be warned "quantities will be extremely limited while we catch up on Rift pre-orders." Those who pre-ordered a Rift can choose to buy one at a retail store instead by changing their order status. They'll be able to keep all their pre-order perks.

There's a backlog of Oculus Rift buyers still waiting for their headsets, so it makes sense for the company to prioritize fulfilling those first. However, it may be shooting itself in the foot a skosh by building buzz yet being unable to meet demand right away.

Or, it could work brilliantly and bring more people into the VR flock. Oculus plans to launch the Rift demos at more Best Buy locations later in the summer, and will bring it to locations in Europe and Canada this fall.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

News Editor (US)

As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.