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The Crazy VR World of China Joy 2016

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The ridiculous and amazing things we scouted in Shanghai.

China Joy kicked off Thursday at the Shanghai New International Expo Center with over 600 firms showing the latest in entertainment and technology.

Among the expected fare of films, games, animation, audio products and cosplay during the four-day conference, there was one obvious and unavoidable sorta newcomer to the scene — virtual reality.

From all-in-one mobile VR headsets to tethered head-mounted displays (HMDs) with hand-controllers that looked eerily similar to brands we already report on, one thing’s for sure, there was no shortage of VR and AR hardware on the show floor.

Let’s take a look at some of the common themes we came across at China Joy.

Rides. There were giant swings, flying things, rollercoasters and jet skis.

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Guns. Armed to the teeth with tethered Vives, backpack VR and 3D printed controllers.

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Headsets. We saw quite a few multiplayer Vive setups, but we also saw Move controllers on heads, branded headsets and even headsets that look like a Vive controller and Oculus Touch controller had a baby!

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Wait, is Freddie Prinze Jr. a fan of VR now!?

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Speaking of weird — companies and their names sometimes.

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Parties. The VR parties were just as unique. This one had a pool inside it.

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There was even mixed reality in the “bathroom”.

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With all the strange, unique and sometimes just amazing things we saw for the first time — there was one familiar title that reminded us of home.

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Worldwide shipments of VR hardware is set to skyrocket in 2016, with some estimates pointing at volumes of 9.6 million units and hardware revenues approaching $2.3 billion in 2016, according to IDC. Most of that hardware growth will be fueled by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC, Oculus and Google. And you can expect China will be playing a large role in that growth, not only from the manufacturing side, but also sheer volume of consumer adoption.

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According to the latest research released by China Electronics Standardization Institute and Xinhua News Agency, the expanding industry is working to make VR part of people’s daily lives in China. The Chinese VR market was worth 1.54 billion yuan ($236 million) in 2015, and is expected to rise to more than 5 billion yuan ($753 million) this year.

This is going to be quite a world we’ll live in.

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Image Credit: Stephen Ip

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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