Since virtual reality is a one-person experience that requires specialized headset hardware, it’s hard to get a feel for what the experience is like without trying it out in person. Sony knows that, and the company would very much like customers to get that chance with its new PlayStation VR system. To that end they’ve placed 300 PlayStation VR and PS4 demo units in retailers all over the United States.
Best Buy and GameStop are Sony’s initial retail partners for the preview program, and since both retailers have stores in every major metropolitan area in the country, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one within driving distance. That said, not every GameStop and Best Buy will be equipped with the pre-release units, as the hardware is still months away from launch. Hours are also limited: because of the highly personal nature of the hardware, demonstrations will only be available when Sony staff members are on site at specific times and dates, often only a sliver of the store’s operating hours. Finding a time and location near you might be harder than it looks.
To find the closest PlayStation VR demo to you, check out the map provided by Sony. Be sure to note the days and times that the demonstration kiosks will be open.
PlayStation VR will cost $400 for the headset when it launches on October 13 in the US, and that does not include the necessary PlayStation 4 hardware (a separate purchase starting at $350). A $500 PlayStation VR bundle, including the PlayStation VR Worlds game, two Move controllers, and a PlayStation Camera add-on is already being sold as a pre-order. A more robust version of the PlayStation 4 called the PS4 Neo has been confirmed by Sony, but release and technical information has not been verified.
An extended rollout to retailers in Canada is expected sometime soon, though specifics are not available. Games on display will include PlayStation VR Worlds, EVE: Valkyrie, Headmaster, Battlezone, and SuperHyperCube, though more may be added as the program continues. If you don’t see a time or date that you can manage at the moment, don’t worry, the program will continue for several months at least, and there will be more demonstrations beyond the currently-posted dates. It’s highly likely that Sony will continue public demonstrations even after the launch date in October.