Oculus and Xiaomi have announced that the two companies have teamed up to bring a new standalone headset to Chinese markets. Xiaomi is one of Oculus’s hardware partners aimed at facilitating worldwide distribution of the upcoming Oculus Go. Unfortunately, Oculus is not allowed to enter Chinese markets. That brings us to the all-new Mi VR Standalone.
The Mi VR standalone headset will closely resemble the upcoming Oculus Go, in both design and features. From the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, to the Oculus Mobile SDK. The Mi is pretty much identical to the Oculus Go in every way. It will not have access to the Oculus Store or Home, but Oculus is working to help bring some of it top content to the Mi.
The Oculus Go and Mi VR headsets are both geared at offering a low cost, quality VR experience. Both require no smartphone or PC to use, and feature integrated audio drivers. The Mi will support its own VR Store and Mi VR SDK. However, Oculus SDK users will have no issue porting over to the Mi to provide localized content.
Oculus is definitely showing its commitment to expanding its VR reach around the globe. While we can clearly see that this is basically a rebranded GO, the move is not surprising. China has seen a major increase in VR interest over the last year, with even President Xi highlighting its importance to economic growth. Manufacturers in China have not had great success with developing its own HMDs, with most coming from outside partnerships.
With the partnership between Xiaomi and Oculus providing a quality standalone HMD, everyone wins. With any luck, the similarities between the Mi and Oculus SDK’s will allow for more globalization of Chinese VR content as well. At least on the Oculus Go platform.