Xiaomi’s Standalone VR Headset Sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 and Supports Oculus Go
Qualcomm had a surprise in store for attendees at its 2018 Consumer Electronics Show press conference. Hugo Barra, Vice President of Facebook’s virtual reality (VR) division, took the wraps off a Xiaomi standalone virtual reality (VR) headset that supports Oculus Mobile, the Facebook’s portable VR platform.
“We’re working with Xiaomi as our hardware partner for the global launch of Oculus Go and are also jointly announcing Mi VR Standalone — a VR headset based on Oculus technology exclusively for the Chinese market,” said the Oculus team.
Details are hard to come by right now, but Xiaomi’s headset packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, runs the company’s in-house Mi VR platform, and supports Oculus’s Mobile software development kit (SDK). Judging by the product renders we’ve seen so far, it isn’t too far off from the China-based company’s Mi VR, which launched in early 2017 and used a smartphone screen to power VR games and experiences. But this headset appears to have its own display.
The partnership with Xiaomi isn’t completely unprecedented. Hugo Barra, a former Google employee, left Xiaomi for Facebook in January 2017 after a three-year stint at the China-based electronics maker. And the social network’s made no secret of its desire to gain ground on VR competitors like Samsung, HTC, and Google. (It’s pledged to spend over $3 billion on VR R&D over the next ten years.)
In a press release, Xioami said it’s partnered with Oculus to localize content from the Oculus Store and bring it to the Mi VR Store in China, and that it “worked closely” with Qualcomm to deliver the “highest possible level” of standlone VR performance.
Expect to hear more about Xiaomi’s standalone headset in the coming days. If it’s priced anything like Oculus Go, it’ll likely cost around $199.