Oculus taps Xiaomi to make its first standalone VR headset

Oculus taps Xiaomi to make its first standalone VR headset

When Oculus announces its standalone Go virtual reality headset in October previous year, the company didn't reveal much regarding the hardware that it has implemented into the device.

The Mi VR headset looks similar to the Oculus Go headset, and also shares its core features. Hugo Barra, a former Google employee, left Xiaomi for Facebook in January 2017 after a three-year stint at the China-based electronics maker.

Oculus, which social networking giant Facebook acquired in 2014, also said it is working closely with Qualcomm Inc and would use the company's Snapdragon 821 chipsets to power the mobile VR headsets.

The Mi headsets will be stamped with the Oculus logo, giving Facebook's products exposure in China, where the company's services have been blocked since 2009. But it chose to also carve out some time during CES 2018 to announce how it's partnership with Xiaomi is going.

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The announcement was missing a few key details - most notably, when the headset will actually be available, and for how much.

There's still no word on when we could see a release for either of the headsets, but the Oculus Go is expected to ship in early 2018. If it's priced anything like Oculus Go, it'll likely cost around $199. It's meant to be an in-between device for people who want something more intense than a headset where you clip in a phone, but don't want to pay for one that requires an expensive PC and cables.

Bringing Oculus hardware to China is certainly not the same as bringing Facebook itself into the country, but it could represent the start of a more extensive relationship.

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