UPDATE: Comment from Game, Sony and additional information added below.
Sony is taking its PlayStation VR headset on tour across the UK with free demos this month. At the same time, the country’s biggest videogame retailer, GAME, is offering its own demonstrations, but for a price.
Several Twitter accounts for regional GAME stores have today tweeted that PS VR, which launched late last week, is now back in stock. These stores are also letting people go hands-on with the device but it looks like some stores are actually charging for it. We’ve got screenshots of the stores we found charging for demos below, though it’s not clear if every store is charging.
As you can see the pricing for these demos isn’t entirely consistent. Some stores are charging £5 for a 10 minute slot while others are charging the same for a 20 minute slot. £15 will also get you half an hour on the device, which might be enough time to run through an experience like The London Heist.
After trying out a demo, customers will of course still be able to buy the unit.
Just went into Game. According to staff and documentation you DO get the demo money back if you buy the PSVR. pic.twitter.com/BaYwUAyNNr
— Bertie Millis ? (@Bertaroo) October 22, 2016
Since this story broke, GAME has issued a statement to UploadVR on the situation. It reads:
Our pay-to-play PlayStation VR experience is a GAME-led initiative. The cost to use the in-store PS4 pod is entirely refundable for customers that go on to buy either the headset or a PS4 console. The payment allows us to ensure that we have dedicated staff manning the PlayStation VR pods who have been fully trained to adhere to best practice demo guidelines.
The demos are intended to give our customers access to one of the most exciting new gaming technologies in 2016 and provide them with the opportunity to get a feel for VR before they commit to buy.
“Retailers run in-store activity at their own discretion,” Sony told UploadVR. “For further information on official PlayStation VR demo opportunities please visit trypsvr.com.”
What do you think of stores trying to charge for demos of a product they want to also sell?