HONG KONG Reuters -- China said it saw multiple opporunities to explore extended reality XR technologies in the next 4 -- 5 years and that it has set up a unit focused on exploring the space, confirming an earlier report by the Chinese company Tencent Holdings.
The gaming chief Steven Ma made comments to local media on the sidelines of a mobile game event that the Chinese tech giant held on Monday. Ma said that the company had set up an XR business line that would combine hardware and software due to the belief that most manufacturers exploring the space would take the approach of Apple and create closed ecosystems that bring together both elements.
In the next 4 -- 5 years he hopes to use the opportunity to experiment in software, content, systems, SDK tools, hardware and other links to create virtual reality experiences that can be industry benchmarks, he said.
Sources said last week that Tencent had announced to staff the official formation of the unit, and that it will eventually have over 300 staff.
Extended reality refers to immersive technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, which are seen to be the building blocks of the metaverse, an immersive virtual world that many consider to be the next iteration of the internet.
Tencent's foray into extended reality shows an intensifying race among tech giants to capture opportunities in the metaverse. It marks a rare move into hard for Tencent, which is mostly known for its software.
Ma said that Tencent's growing interest in XR resulted from the many technological breakthroughs the industry has seen with VR devices recently, including better display resolution and lighter headsets.