Where can I try VR before buying?
Purchasing a VR headset can be a huge investment, both in money and space. The decision to buy is definitely more difficult if you've never tried VR, as many questions hang in the air: Will I get sick? Is the headset comfortable? Is it worth taking up a room in my house?
These questions are best answered through practice. Here's where you can try out the leading VR headsets before investing in one for yourself.
- Where to try out PlayStation VR
- Where to try out the HTC Vive
- Where to try out the Oculus Rift
- Where to try out Gear VR
- Where to try out the Daydream View
Where to try out PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR demo representatives embarked on an impressive campaign leading up to PSVR's release, and they are still working hard to provide demos in many places around the world. Try the headset for yourself and see if it's as comfortable as everyone says, and experience the Move controllers first-hand.
These demo stations are mostly set up in Best Buy and Gamestop, but many Sony stores also host the experience that includes games like Batman: Arkham VR, RIGS Mechanized Combat League, and Headmaster.
The PlayStation website is the best place to find a demo near you if you're in North America — search by ZIP or postal code and set a maximum distance you're willing to travel. If you're in Europe or Asia, there's also a dedicated PSVR site that will show you where they're hosting events.
Where to try out the HTC Vive
The HTC Vive is arguably the best VR setup you can buy today, but it's also one of the most expensive. It uses two Wands that track your hands' movement in real time, and it can be used in a room-scale setup.
Investing in a Vive is a big deal, so you'll want to see if it's the right VR for you. Luckily, there are demo stations set up worldwide that offer the full experience. The Vive website makes finding them a breeze — all you need to do is type in your address, choose how far you're willing to travel to reach a demo station, and you'll be shown a bunch of locations. This site shows locations around the world.
Where to try out the Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift was one of the first VR headsets that many enthusiasts got their hands on and remains one of the best VR experiences you'll find. With the release of the Touch controllers that mimic your real hands and contribute to a room-scale experience, many people are again considering picking up a Rift.
Want to see if the Touch controllers are as good as people are saying? There are plenty of demo stations set up equipped with everything the Rift experience offers. Try out new games like The Unspoken, The Climb, Medium, and VR Sports Challenge.
Just type in your address, ZIP or postal code, and you'll be shown where you can go to test out the Oculus Rift. This site shows demo stations around the world.
Where to try out Gear VR
Samsung's Gear VR took the mobile VR world by storm by offering a low-cost option that delivers a solid VR experience. Backed by a large collection of Oculus Experiences, Gear VR is still a very popular option for all VR enthusiasts.
You might be wondering what the display quality is like using a Samsung phone, or you might be curious how it fits on your head — no problem. All official Verizon Wireless stores have Gear VR demo stations set up for your convenience.
To find a store, just type in your address or ZIP code and you'll be shown the nearest location. These stores are located in the United States.
Where to try out the Daydream View
Google's Daydream View is the newest mobile VR headset to hit the market, but it's already making waves thanks to a comfortable head-mounted display and functional remote that tracks your hand's movement.
There are thousands of demo stations set up around the world, and Google's website has a search function that makes it easy to find one closest to you. Just type in your address, and you'll be shown a number of locations near you where you can don the Daydream.
Demooz is a website where people who own exciting new tech can offer a demo to anyone interested.
If you're looking for a demo, all you have to do is contact the "Demoozer" to set up a time, or you can create a post detailing what you'd like to try and when. Create an account through Google or Facebook and you're away.
This is a great place to try out VR systems that don't have official demo stations — like Cardboard — but keep in mind these are private people offering their stuff for you to try. Respect their setup and be friendly and you'll both have a great time!
Do you demo?
Were you able to find a demo before you went in on a VR headset, or did you just jump right in? Let us know in the comments section!