Facebook And Xiaomi Together Working On A Wireless VR Headset
It has been three years since Facebook acquired Oculus and it is only now that the social media giant is collaborating with Xiaomi for the launch of a wireless VR headset. According to Bloomberg’s report, the headset is going to cost USD 200 which is approximately INR 13,000. Shipment of this wireless Oculus VR headset is not set to begin till at least 2018.
The Oculus VR is going to be lighter as well as more compact than the standard Oculus Rift. Graphics on the Virtual Reality device are going to be of a better quality due to the presence of a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. The Bloomberg report does, however, say that the features and the designs are not finalized and can still be subject to change.
The pricing of the device at USD 200 makes it much cheaper than the Oculus VR headset which sells at USD 400. The price is, in fact, closer to Samsung’s Gear VR which sells for USD 130. The reason for this is that Xiaomi is a manufacturer of the Mi VR Play which automatically makes it less costly than what the competition is selling.
However, the Oculus VR headset is going to be less powerful than the Oculus Rift headset. The reason for this is that the Rift is receiving its power from an external computer with the capability of rendering high end graphics while the Oculus headset is not going to require an external device to run it. The company is choosing to power the new headset without any external source as it wants to make the headset easier to slip on and off the head so that users can be more comfortable while using it.
Facebook wants to make sure that VRs become a popular and affordable phenomenon for many to purchase. Mark Zuckerberg, at an Oculus conference last year, had said that a “sweet spot” could be made to exist between the Oculus Rift and the Gear VR. He said that he believed that such a thing could be made into a reality, hence offering users a great VR experience at a lesser price.
The current Vice President of Virtual Reality at Facebook, Hugo Barra, has previously been the Vice President of Global at Xiaomi. The report published by Bloomberg also states that “The idea is that someone will be able to pull the headset out of their bag and watch movies on a flight just the way you can now with a phone or tablet.”
The device is going to be custom made for China which is the home market of Xiaomi, because of which it is also going to have Xiaomi software that is built into it. This launch is going to help widen Facebook’s customer base as Facebook itself is banned inside China.
This headset is something that gamers all across the world should look forward to as it is not only going to be easier to use, but is also going to be less costly to purchase. Thank you, Facebook and Xiaomi, for giving us a reason to look forward to 2018.