Chinese video streaming giant iQiyi launches $300 virtual reality headset

Chinese video streaming giant iQiyi launches $300 virtual reality headset

Chinese video entertainment company iQiyi is taking the novel approach of a media platform getting into the hardware business.

On Thursday, the Beijing-based firm released a new virtual reality headset, called Qiyu 2S. It’s a more affordable version of its 4K VR integrated headsetthat the company launched last year.

CNBC tested out the device, and the immediate takeaway was how light the Qiyu 2S felt. The device is still heavier than a baseball cap, but at 280 grams, or 9.9 ounces, iQiyi’s VR headset doesn’t have any of the heft that other devices do. During the limited test, the peripheral also didn’t induce any feelings of sickness or discomfort. The headset is made by iQiyi subsidiary Qiyu and uses chips from Qualcomm.

With 4K resolution, a wifi connection with no wires required and an advertised starting price of 1,999 yuan ($294), the company has a competitive, mid-market VR headset. Last year’s model, the VR II, retails for at least $100 more.

Since its launch in 2010, iQiyi has evolved from a video streaming platform to a major production house in China for variety shows, drama series and more. The company said it had more than 87 million subscribing members at the end of 2018. At its annual conference in Beijing this week, iQiyi emphasized its plans to incorporate more technology — virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence — to improve the experience for its users. Read more

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