Virtual reality is undergoing booming development in China, but you don’t know the frenzy until you see people waiting in line for hours to try out VR devices. This year’s CES Asia, held in Shanghai, brought out scores of enthusiastic consumers looking to get a first look at 2016 releases in VR.
Reports from Chinese research company iiMedia show that the Chinese VR market was worth 1.5 billion yuan ($230 million USD) in 2015. This figure is expected to reach 5.6 billion yuan in 2016 and to exceed 55 billion yuan by 2020.
Here’s a handful of the Chinese VR manufacturers who showcased their products at CES this year.
As one of the first VR handsets shipped, HTC Vive provides the best experience among all VR exhibitors at CES Shanghai. The experience is really immersive thanks to superb resolution which lets you forget that you are in a fake world. Game operation is easy to pick up, although there’s still improvement spaces for making the gesture recognition more steady.
The device do requires larger space (around 4 square meters) to avoid accidentally stumbling on something while playing. Also, the wires connected to the handset is very annoying especially when you are playing in a standing position and spins around to defend against attacking zombies.
An impressive VR experience isn’t cheap. The price for the HTC VIVE is around $799.
Hangzhou-based startup KAT VR eyes the industry from another angle: accessories. “If we compare VR handset to computers, we are the manufacturer of mouse”, a representative of the company told TechNode. Aiming to create more realistic experience that activates your whole body, KAT VR’s treadmill works similar to a big baby bouncer, allowing gamers to walk, run, jump crouch and sit in virtual worlds.
DeePoon is a Chinese consumer-targeted VR manufacturer that offers a full array of VR devices, ranging from VR googles that link up to smartphones to all-in-one VR handsets with build-in motherboards and displays.
DeePoon is adopting a platform strategy to connect hardware and content developers. Alex Xu, sales director of DeePoon, said there’s currently more than 100 games available for the hardware. Xu added that their diverse product line is priced from 169RMB (US$26) to 2,999RMB.
The company received a $30 million B round from Xiaomi-backed Chinese video streaming site Xunlei and Internet company Kingnet.com last December.
Other exhibitors include Dlodlo (left), VRGATE (middle), Supow (right), among others, most of whom are smartphone VR headset developers.