The OZO 360 degree camera from Nokia is arguably the best in its class, but for the world’s most enthusiastic VR market, China, it’s been out of reach, selling only in Europe in the U.S. – until now.
Nokia is planning to sell the device through a partnership with Chinese internet LeEco, and it’s getting a new price to match its new market.
The company has slashed the camera’s price tag by a quarter globally, bringing the cost of the camera down to $45,000 USD just six months after it launched in Europe and the U.S. for $60,000 USD.
OZO, which claims to be the world’s first “professional” VR camera, is a teardrop-shaped device that holds eight 2K cameras, capturing spherical video and surround sound for immersive VR experiences.
Nokia will partner with LeVR, the VR division of LeEco, to distribute the camera. LeEco, often dubbed the ‘Netflix of China’, has diversified heavily in the past two years, investing in everything from entertainment to autonomous cars. The company took their first public steps into the VR market in December with the launch of their first headset, the LeVR Cool 1. Currently the headset is only compatible with LeEco phones.
For Nokia, tapping the Chinese market is an important step. The country’s enthusiasm for VR has surpassed other markets, with top internet companies and device manufacturers scrambling to give consumers their first VR experience. It’s an enthusiasm that’s matched on the consumer side too, as low-cost smartphone-enabled headsets flood the market, and VR immersion experiences, such as gaming arcades, gather steam in mainland China.
It’s a country that remains incredibly price sensitive however, which could factor into Nokia’s decision to slash the price of the OZO by 25 percent. According to Nokia, the price cut and LeVR partnership in the Chinese market will “increase the availability of OZO and make the camera available to a broader range of professional content producers.”