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Tue 3 Mar 2015 12:38 PM

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Virtual reality headsets go on sale in Qatar

Oculus Rift, which was bought by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last year for $2bn, provides the devices for video gaming fanatics

Virtual reality headsets go on sale in Qatar
(Getty Images)

Pioneering 3D gaming headgear has gone on sale in Qatar, Doha News reported.

Oculus Rift, which was bought by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last year for $2 billion, provides virtual reality headsets for video gaming fanatics.

The technology firm raised initial money for its operations through ‘crowdfunding’, where backers make small investments via a website.

Oculus Rift launched in Qatar at the state’s first gaming conference recently. It also opened a new store at the Pearl-Qatar. 

While some Qatar residents own Oculus Rift headsets purchased elsewhere and the company has been running a gaming facility in Al Sadd since 2013, this is the first time the product has gone on general sale in the country.

The new store in the Novo Cinema complex sells dolls, apparel and life-size busts of popular Hollywood characters, Doha News reported.

It quotes one fan, 20-year-old university student Adam Abou-Gad, as saying: “It’s really awesome. I think once it gets around more, it’ll make for a greater gaming experience.

“When I tried it out, I felt like I was the character in the game, as if I’m in the game’s world. It makes the experience even more intense and a whole lot more fun.”

Oculus Rift’s Qatari co-founder Ali Marafi said: “It’s a novelty because you cannot [until now] just go to a store and buy one in Qatar. It’s the future of gaming, but it’s a long procedure. You have to place an order with the company, and there’s a waiting list for about 6-8 months, and then you get it.”

“It’s not long before virtual reality integrates itself with other sectors. It has great implications for the medical field, amusement parks, construction, real estate and other science-related fields,” he added.

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