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Facebook, Xiaomi to launch VR headset in China

IANS

Las Vegas, Jan 9 (IANS) In a bid to get a billion people to use Virtual Reality (VR), Facebook-owned Oculus is set to launch its first standalone VR headset in China in partnership with Chinese handset maker Xiaomi.

“The new Oculus VR headset called Mi ‘VR Standalone’, is essentially the same headset as ‘Oculus Go’, a standalone headset that Oculus first unveiled in October,” Recode reported late Monday.

“Launching as a hardware partner with Xiaomi means Facebook can dip a toe into China without having to deal with censorship issues, or storing user data and information,” the report added.

The new VR headset was unveiled at a press conference alongside Qualcomm — another Oculus partner during the ongoing “Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018” here.

However, the announcement did not mention key details such as when the headset will be available and the launch price.

The headset will be built exclusively for China, using a Qualcomm chip and Oculus’ mobile software bundle for developers, according to CNET.

When Facebook announced the “Oculus Go” headset in October 2017, it said it would come out early this year and would cost $199 but it is not yet available to consumers.

Unlike its predecessor “Oculus Rift”, this VR headset will not require plugging into a smartphone or a personal computer to function, the social media giant had said.

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Update: 09-January-2018

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