Yesterday, Oculus announced a UK launch date and price for its much-hyped Rift virtual reality headset.
The device will hit shelves on September 20th with a suggested retail price of £549.
The first named retail partners are Amazon, John Lewis, Currys/PC World, Harrods and GAME in the UK.
However, it looks like other retailers and independents will not be able to stock the VR headset – for now. Oculus has hinted at opening up stock allocation to more retailers in the future, and PCR understands it may do this in early 2017.
In a statement sent to PCR, Oculus said: "As we launch in Europe, we are focused on creating the best demo and buying experience for customers. We’re using select distributors and retailers to help us achieve that.
"This is just the beginning of our international launch and we look forward to growing our retail presence over time.”
When pressed for further details of official distribution partners in the UK, Oculus wouldn’t budge, however we have been told from several sources that Exertis is distributing the device. One source believes Tech Data may be distributing the Rift.
Both Exertis and Tech Data were unable to confirm or deny that at this time. If we hear back from them, we’ll update this article accordingly.
It’s no real surprise Oculus is holding its cards close to its chest. VR is a new category and Oculus may want to keep stock allocation limited as it improves the device.
Earlier this year, the company said it would not reveal when it’d be working with channel partners.
Rival headset manufacturer HTC is also working with select retailers in the UK, like Overclockers and Scan. PCR understands that HTC is also selling direct to select retailers and is shutting out the independent channel.
In other VR news, Intel has announced its own VR headset: Project Alloy.
Check out a more detailed analysis of VR in the channel in the next issue of PCR