Oculus, Xiaomi partner to build VR headsets

A Facebook experiment comes to an end

A Facebook experiment comes to an end. Credit Chris Ratcliffe Bloomberg

At CES 2018, the company - spearheaded by the charismatic Hugo Barra - divulged a few more details about the Oculus Go.

But, that's not the whole story as Xiaomi is building a new standalone Mi VR which will be exclusively launched in China soon. Xiaomi is the hardware partner for Oculus Go and Mi VR standalone headset. The partnership could help Facebook get its VR technology and Chinese versions of Oculus content into the world's largest consumer market. Developers can build using Oculus Rift, but show others with Oculus Go rather effortlessly.

Not a lot is known about the exact core hardware that's inside the Oculus Go for now.

When we tried out Qualcomm's first standalone Snapdragon 820 VR, I could see the pixels in the VR display, but enjoyed the six degrees of freedom in the "walkaround" VR experience. Xiaomi is well know for its mobiles, but in China it has a wider range of products from electric cycles to pens to laptops as well as VR products. Created to be completely standalone and totally wireless, Oculus Go sits in the gap between the Samsung Galaxy S8-powered Gear VR and the full-fat Oculus Rift. He also didn't offer an update on when the Oculus Go will come out; Facebook has previously said it will come out in 2018.

Oculus has also collaborated with Xiaomi on its first standalone headset. It's based on Qualcomm's all-in-one reference design. You can actually switch it, be anywhere in your house and start playing some great VR games.

While this is Oculus's cheapest headset yet, the Chinese VR market, which is quite fragmented, already counts on existing no-name, affordable brands.

The Vive Focus is still a pretty expensive affair though.

Oculus Go also allows developers to create and test in VR too. Having said that the Focus is also more powerful as compared to the Oculus Go, so technically it wouldn't be right to compare the two just yet. One is the Oculus Go, which will be available globally at an expected priced of $1,99 around ₹12,630. We do not have a timeline for that yet. However, as it doesn't require you to own a Samsung Galaxy phone, it's actually a lot cheaper because it's entirely self-contained - you don't even need a PC to use it.

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