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HTC announced details of how it will roll out the HTC Vive virtual reality headset to retailers.

HTC said that the new VR product — which lets you immerse yourself in a virtual environment — will debut in Microsoft Stores and GameStop locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. That information will no doubt spread fast as the Vive is in short supply, and HTC said it was behind in shipping initial preorders to people who already ordered it direct via HTC’s web site. Strategy Analytics estimates that VR headset revenues will reach $895 million in 2016, with 77 percent of that generated by the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Sony PlayStation VR.

Shoppers will have the opportunity to try Vive — which was developed in partnership with Valve — along with select experiences from the more than 120 titles that are available now on Valve’s Steam digital distribution network. Consumers will be able to place reservations for June orders directly with retailers.

The Microsoft Flagship store in New York, Microsoft at Bellevue Square in Washington, and Microsoft at City Creek Center in Utah are the first retail locations offering the Vive demo experience. Individuals will have the opportunity to try different types of SteamVR content featured on an Alienware Area-51 PC. Microsoft at Park Meadows Mall in Colorado will have demos available later this week. Additional Microsoft stores are slated to roll out in April with up to 30 stores outfitted this year.


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GameStop will offer Vive demonstrations at approximately 10 locations by mid-April. The demonstrations are open to the general public for individual sessions to experience a host of virtual reality content available on Steam. The full list of participating U.S. store locations and timing will be available at HTC’s web site.

Priced at $800, the Vive virtual reality system was designed from the ground up for room-scale VR, allowing true-to-life interactions and experiences. It has an adjustable headset, two wireless controllers with HD haptic feedback, and 360 absolute motion tracking.

“This is without a doubt the year for virtual reality,” said Dan O’Brien, vice president of HTC Vive, in a statement. “Partnering with the nation’s largest, most respected retail stores is going to give every individual an opportunity to experience what virtual reality was truly meant to be – fully immersive and able to interact with content in a completely new way.”

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