Facebook is shutting down hundreds of demo stations at Best Buy stores for the Oculus Rift headset, according to a report by Business Insider.

The shutdown of the demo stations comes just as Facebook-owned Oculus was ordered to pay $500 million to ZeniMax, which claims that the company stole its technology and used it for the development of the virtual reality headset.

Oculus Rift Demo Stations Shutting Down

According to the Business Insider report, Facebook is closing 200 of the 500 of the virtual reality demo stations that have been put up in Best Buy stores that showcase the Oculus Rift.

Oculus entered into a partnership with Best Buy last year to put up demo stations in store locations of the retail company. The demo stations were put up so that interested customers can try out the Oculus Rift before deciding on whether or not to purchase the virtual reality headset.

Best Buy employees from different locations told Business Insider that there were times when no customer would ask for an Oculus Rift demonstration over the span of several days. Employees revealed that they only sold a few units of the virtual reality headset per week in the holiday season, with the interest of customers in the demo stations having drastically decreased after Christmas

An internal memo acquired by Business Insider that was sent to the employees coming from third-party contractors that would be affected by the shutdowns revealed that the reason behind the move was "store performance."

Andrea Schubert, a spokeswoman for Oculus, confirmed that there were demo stations that will be shut down but said that the reason behind the closings was "seasonal changes," with the company to prioritize demos in Best Buy stores that are located in bigger markets.

"You can still request Rift demos at hundreds of Best Buy locations in the U.S. and Canada," Schubert said, adding that the company still believes that the best way for customers to learn all about virtual reality is by participating in a live demo.

Carly Charlson, a spokeswoman for Best Buy, meanwhile noted that for stores that will no longer be having demo stations for the Oculus Rift, they will still be selling the virtual reality headset and its various accessories such as the Oculus Touch controllers.

What Now For The Oculus Rift?

The foot traffic for the demo stations of the Oculus Rift in Best Buy stores is not the best way to gauge the performance of the virtual reality headset, but the lack of interest is supported by a SuperData report that revealed the lagging sales of the Oculus Rift. According to the report, only 250,000 units of the Oculus Rift were sold in 2016, compared to 420,000 units for the HTC Vive, 750,000 units for Sony's PlayStation VR, and 4.5 million units for the Samsung Gear VR.

Facebook has been reported to have thought about putting up its own storefronts for virtual reality sales and demonstrations, but discussions for such a plan are still in the early stages.

It might be a while before Facebook gets around to talking about it too, as it still has to deal with the fallout of the lawsuit filed by ZeniMax against Oculus. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey claimed that he did not take confidential code from ZeniMax and used it for the Oculus Rift, which is an allegation that he was not found guilty of within the ordered $500 million payment.

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