Chinese Video Streaming Company iQiyi Releases New VR Headset
The Chinese video entertainment company iQiyi has launched a new virtual reality headset, Qiyu 2S, which is an affordable version of the 4K VR integrated headset which the company launched in 2018.
The headset was manufactured by iQiyi subsidiary Qiyu and utilizes Qualcomm chips. At 280 grams or 9.9 ounces, the device is relatively light and won’t give you the heft that you would get from other HMDs. You can wear the Qiyu 2S comfortably without grappling with feelings of discomfort or sickness.
The Qiyu 2S has a 4K resolution and uses a wi-fi connections so you won’t have to grapple with convoluted wiring. The advertised starting price for the VR headset is $294 which is quite competitive for the mid-market VR headset niche. The company’s previous headset model, the VR II, was worth at least $100 more.
The parent company, iQiyi, was launched in 2010 and over the decade, has evolved from a video streaming company into one of China’s biggest production houses for drama series, variety shows and much more. By the end of 2018, iQiyi had more than 87 million subscribers. In its annual conference this week, the company stressed its plans to invest in more technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence in order to enhance the user experience.
By controlling both its hardware and content, iQiyi will be able to engage with its subscriber base in a very unique way. iQiyi is the first the major entertainment producer and distributor to build its own virtual reality headset, a unique business model that gives it a foot in the door of future content distribution platforms.
The iQiyi new headset will have custom virtual reality content that will include a front-row virtual reality view of various pop music concerts. The headsets can also be used in watching shows and movies from the iQiyi app, inside a virtual cinema experience complete with the theater seats and a high-resolution projection screen.
The Qiyu 2S virtual reality headsets will also provide support for Steam as well as various other gaming platforms that the company is currently expanding into. Additionally, the headset will provide access to apps for other virtual reality content. Programming for the device will be controlled using a hand-held remote.
The Qiyu headset is currently being distributed via Chinese e-commerce marketplaces such as JD.com and Alibaba’s Tmall. You can also purchase the headset directly from the iQiyi online store. The pre-sales for the VR started on Thursday this week and a pro-version of the headset will be released in October this year.