Facebook set a goal to get a billion people using virtual reality. Now, we see the company taking a massive step towards this goal.
Oculus, the VR company that Facebook bought for $2 billion back in 2014, announced that it will launch its first VR headset in China as part of a partnership with the Chinese phone company, Xiaomi.
The new Oculus headset, called Mi VR Standalone, is essentially the same headset as Oculus Go, which was first launched in October. The key difference between the Go and the Mi VR, however, is that Xiaomi will provide all of the headset’s software. The social media company will also be using Xiaomi’s distribution network to make the standalone available.
Launching in tandem with Xiaomi means Facebook can tap into the Chinese market without dealing with censorship issues or storing user data and information.
Hugo Barra, Facebook’s new VP of VR who joined the company last year and oversees Oculus, was a VP at Xiaomi for four years. At Xiaomi, his job was to help expand the company overseas. At Oculus, he is not only helping Facebook grow, but also helping Xiaomi create a strong strategic ally in the United States.
The new headset was unveiled at a press conference alongside Qualcomm at the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas as part of the week-long CES event set to take over the city this week. Oculus currently offers just one headset, a relatively expensive, hardcore unit designed primarily for gamers and other VR enthusiasts.
While price and specifications are not yet available, the Oculus Go was launched at a price point of $199.00. Seeing that the company is on a mission, it is unlikely that the new headset would have as high a price point as the Oculus Go.