Oculus has made a big announcement at CES 2018 with the unveiling of details on its partnership with Xiaomi and Qualcomm Technologies for the Chinese market. Oculus says that the deal will “deliver the next generation of VR products at accessible prices to people worldwide.” One of the fruits of that partnership won’t be for the people of the world. It will be for a standalone VR headset based on Oculus technology that is exclusive for the Chinese market.
The headset is called the Mi VR Standalone, which happens to look very much like the Oculus Go that will be launched globally. There is good reason that the Mi VR Standalone and the Oculus Go look the same, they are both powered by the Snapdragon 821 Mobile VR Platform.
Oculus writes, “We’ve worked closely with Qualcomm to deliver the highest possible level of performance to meet the high computing demands of the standalone VR product category.”
The two devices share the same core hardware features and design, and both support the Oculus Mobile SDK. That SDK will allow Oculus developers to bring content to the Mi VR platform in China.
The Mi VR Standalone has 2K high-resolution fast-switch LCD, next-generation lenses, and integrated spatial audio. The audio drivers are built directly into the headset and there is a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening. We already know that Oculus is targeting a $199 price point for the Oculus Go, but pricing for the Mi VR Standalone wasn’t announced.
Oculus says, “Based on Oculus technology, the Mi VR Standalone system caters to what Chinese users want the most: a powerful video player and a localized social experience. Mi VR Standalone supports both the Oculus Mobile SDK and the Mi VR SDK, making it easy for Chinese developers to support the headset, and giving existing Oculus developers a streamlined path to bring their content to the Chinese market on the Mi VR platform. Xiaomi is working with developers to bring some of the popular games, videos and apps from the Oculus Store to the Mi VR Store in China, giving Chinese consumers access to high-quality mobile VR content.”