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New $300 VR headset launched by China-based video streaming company iQiyi

iQiyi, a Chinese video entertainment service provider has released its new virtual reality (VR) headset, called the Qiyu 2S.

It is a cost-friendly alternative to the company’s previous virtual reality integrated 4K headset launched during last year.

The Qiyu 2S has a weight of 280 grams (9.9 ounces), comes with 4K resolution and is priced at 1,999 yuan or $294.

© Provided by CNBC LLC, The Qiyu 2S is made by iQiyi’s subsidiary Qiyu and uses chips from Qualcomm.

iQiyi is aiming to control the content offered to users and the hardware, to offer unique experiences. As a firm focused on creating and distributing entertainment solutions, releasing its own virtual reality headset is an innovative step. This latest development from the Chinese video entertainment company iQiyi is a pioneering move for a media company getting into the hardware industry.

The Qiyu 2S virtual reality headset was released by the Beijing-based company as a cost-effective option to last year’s more feature-rich 4K integrated headset.

The device was tested out by CNBC following its release. Following the test, it was quite evident that the Qiyu 2S felt quite light. At 9.9 ounces or 280 grams, the headset is lighter than many of the VR headset counterparts available today. The test was a limited one, and the device did not cause any events of participants feeling discomfort or sickness. The Qiyu 2S virtual reality headset is manufactured by Qiyu, which is a an ancillary unit of iQiyi. It uses Qualcomm chips.

The newly released headset comes with 4K resolution, has a wireless Wifi connection system, and will sell for a starting price of $294 or 1999 yuan. It will be a strong mid-market VR headset option offered by the company. The VR II, a model released by the brand last year, has a retail price that is $100 more expensive than the Qiyu 2S headset.

iQiyi, since its establishment in 2010, has transformed from a platform for streaming videos to a prominent production house in China. Some of the content it produces includes drama series, variety shows, and other features. According to the company, it has a subscriber base of 87 million at the tail-end of 2018.

At the annual conference of the company in Beijing this week, the company stressed its plans to utilise additional technology forms including artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality. Incorporating these will help in improving the experience of users.

The company is taking control of the content and hardware aspects to create an innovative experience for its users. An example of the custom virtual reality content geared for viewing with the new device includes pop concerts with front-row views. The device can also be utilised for viewing shows and movies within a virtual cinema setting of the iQiyi app. Users will be able to witness theatre seats and a high-res projection screen. Steam and a few other gaming platforms are also supported by the headset.

A handheld remote is used for selecting programmes to be viewed, and users can gain access to apps for different virtual reality content types through the headset.


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