UPDATE: GAME has issued a statement on its PlayStation VR in-store demo pricing, saying it's charging so "dedicated staff" man the pods.
It's also said the whole thing is a "GAME-led initiative", suggesting Sony didn't put the shop up to it.
Here's the statement:
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.
ORIGINAL STORY: GAME charges people to try PlayStation VR.
The shop's controversial promotion launched late last week, with a number of stores revealing the pricing on Twitter.
Here's how it works: you have to book a time and date for your PS VR demo, and provide your name and a contact number. And, you have to pay the relevant fee. Here's the breakdown:
- For a 10 minute demonstration: £5.00
- For a 20 minute demonstration: £10.00
- For a 30 minute demonstration: £15.00
There are caveats, of course. If you put down a deposit to buy PS VR, which costs £350, and can provide proof of your deposit, you can get a 30 minute demo for free. How nice.
So what do you get for your demo? A member of GAME staff briefs you on how to use the virtual reality headset and what you will experience. During the in-store demo, you must (according to GAME's small print):
- Remain seated at all times and until headset is removed;
- close eyes and raise your hand if you become uncomfortable and want to stop the demo;
- remain calm and minimise erratic head and limb movements;
- stop moving if GAME staff place a hand on your shoulder; and
- not touch, remove or interfere with the headset or connected equipment except as directed by GAME staff.
Now, if, after your demo you want to buy PS VR, the fee you paid is knocked off the usual deposit. But this offer is only available immediately after the completion of your demo.
As you'd expect, the offer has sparked a vociferous response, with most questioning GAME's offer.
.@GAMEbromley Scummy. Really scummy. Also pretty sure it's in breach of software EULA.— C A S T L E â¯‚ (@NeilCastle) October 22, 2016
is this a joke? I'll buy mine from a retailer who doesn't charge. There are plenty of them. This is exploitative.— Julia Tartley-Screwer (@miffbuckley) October 23, 2016