Netfish Internet Cafe Launches Second-Generation VR Products The old tree of the Internet cafe industry sends out a new branch of the Metaverse?

The company says it is committed to becoming a Metaverse “infrastructure” builder, and VR products are mainly for developers.

Recently, YVR, the parent company of Wangyu Internet Cafe , has launched its own new generation of VR glasses, YVR 2. This product is the first VR all-in-one machine with Pancake ultra-short-focus optical solution. The thickness of the whole machine is only 42mm. The price is 4999 yuan. The company says it is committed to becoming a Metaverse “infrastructure” builder, and VR products are mainly for developers.

With the gradual popularization of home computers, the Internet cafe industry is facing increasing pressure for transformation. Although Wangyu has iterated the concept of Internet cafes from 1.0 to 6.0, it still has to face the reality of the shrinking market. After completing the D round of financing in 2018, some investors withdrew from the shareholder sequence of Wangyu Internet Cafe. Since then, the news of the listing of Netfish Internet Cafe has been reported several times, but the following has not been seen.

Concepts such as VR and Metaverse have become new outlets for capital to pursue. Meta’s Quest has the best sales in the market. Tencent established an XR (Extended Reality) department in June, and ByteDance has continued to add resources to it after acquiring Pico for 9 billion yuan. Netfish Internet cafes hope to take a slant with the “developer to VR” sword, will it work?

The transformation road of “sunset industry”

The popularity of home and personal computers is becoming a noose around the neck of the Internet cafe industry.

Data released by Canalys shows that global PC shipments will perform strongly at the end of 2021, up 15% year-on-year to 341 million units, and shipments will grow by 11% in 2020. From 2011 to 2018, global PC shipments have maintained a steady decline, showing a rebound in 2019.

Netfish Internet Cafe Launches Second-Generation VR Products The old tree of the Internet cafe industry sends out a new branch of the Metaverse?

(Image source: Canalys)

The rebound in PC shipments has had a considerable impact on the Internet cafe industry. In February 2019, the “2018 China Internet Internet Service Industry Development Report” released by the China Internet Internet Service Industry Association, which is in charge of the Ministry of Culture, shows that in 2018, there were a total of There were 128,000 Internet cafes, a year-on-year decrease of 4.2%, and the total industry revenue decreased by 0.3% year-on-year.

Data from iResearch also shows that the number of Internet cafes in China peaked in 2016 and has been slowly decreasing since then.

On the one hand, the decline of Internet cafes is because the mobile game boom created by the mobile Internet has robbed users of client-side games. For players, mobile games are more convenient to play, and for game manufacturers, mobile games are more efficient in monetization; On the one hand, after “PUBG Mobile” became popular all over the world, client-side games have higher and higher requirements on computer configuration, and players tend to choose Internet cafes with better configuration. market eliminated.

Unlike users who vote with their feet and home computer shipments, the way to vote with capital is more intuitive: with money.

Netfish Internet Cafe won Wang Sicong’s total capital of 10 million yuan in Series B financing in 2015, which was its most popular period. From 2014 to 2017, Netfish Internet Cafe will “melt” every year.

However, its financing pace finally stayed in 2017. After completing the D round of financing, the registered capital of Wangyu Internet Cafe was suddenly reduced from 50 million yuan to 44.953 million yuan. At the beginning of 2019, investors such as Yicun Capital, Moju Investment, Jiangxi Copper Investment withdrew from the ranks of shareholders. Regarding the specific circumstances of the changes in registered capital and shareholders, Wangyu Internet Cafe has not made a statement.

Since 2019, Wangyu Internet Cafe has reported listing news many times, but none of them have been seen in the end. In today’s overall downturn in the industry, Internet fish and Internet cafes need to find new opportunities outside of Internet cafes if they want to make a name for themselves in the capital market.

It’s not easy to get ahead at the C terminal

I have to admit that in terms of the Metaverse, Wangyu Internet Cafe has a somewhat unique vision.As the earliest player with the most abundant resources, Meta’s VR products are obviously more mature, and have more experience in content and social interaction. In 2019, Wangyu Internet Cafe tried to cooperate with Meta to introduce its VR products into China.

Negotiations with Meta were unsuccessful, after which the company came up with the idea of ​​making its own hardware. In 2020, Netfish established YVR, a VR hardware research and development company, and sowed its own seeds on the soil of the Metaverse.

The “first year of the Metaverse” in my country, which is generally recognized by the market, is 2021, one year later.

In August of that year, ByteDance won the bidding with Tencent, acquiring VR startup Pico for 9 billion yuan. At that time, ByteDance also launched the game platform “Zhaoxiguangnian”, acquired the game company “Mutong Technology”, and joined hands with Lehua to promote the debut of the virtual girl group “A-Soul”.

In front of big companies such as ByteDance, Tencent and even Meta, it is not easy for the VR products of Wangyu Internet Cafe to make it to the C-end.

In 2021, the global VR headset shipments have exceeded 10 million units, of which Quest’s global market share is 78%, the domestic brand Dapeng VR accounts for 5.1%, and ByteDance accounts for more than 4%, ranking No. 1. three.

Compared with ByteDance, Wangyu Internet Cafe’s strength in terms of funds and resources is slightly inferior.

In 2022, ByteDance has set a sales target for Pico of 1.8 million units, and in 2021, this number is 1 million units. In addition, on the recommendation positions of e-commerce platforms such as Bilibili,Xiaohongshu ,, Taobao, etc., ByteDance also did not hesitate to publicize the budget, and bought the best position to Pico.

After counting the total sales volume of the top three sellers under the keywords of Pico, Dapeng VR, Quest, and YVR on Taobao, it is not difficult to find that in the C-end market, YVR currently does not have the strength to collide with its peers.

Among them, Pico’s monthly sales are at least 3,400 units, Quest’s monthly sales are at least 1,700 units, and YVR’s is only 400 units.

Perhaps it is precisely because the net fish and Internet cafes are well aware of the gap with their peers in the C-end market, in order to avoid the “fish” dying and breaking the net, the main battlefield of YVR is not at the C-end.

The product positioning of swordsmanship

On December 28, 2021, Wangyu Internet Cafe released its first-generation VR all-in-one product, YVR, and officially entered the VR hardware market. The seeds sown by this “BC” bore the first fruits on the penultimate day of the first year of the Metaverse.

Netfish Internet Cafe’s positioning of YVR products is: Metaverse infrastructure builders. It means that the target users of this series of products are not from the C-side, but from the B-side enterprises, especially developers.

In the product promotion, the company said that the YVR is one of the few products in China that is comparable to the Meta Oculus Quest series (hereinafter referred to as “Quest”), priced at 3,999 yuan. Dr. Frank, chief scientist of YVR, said that through the optimization of algorithms and hardware and the selection of sensors, the performance of the first generation of YVR has reached the level of Quest.

On July 18, 2022, only half a year from the last product release, Wangyu Internet Cafe released its latest generation VR product, YVR 2.

The second-generation YVR chooses the more forward-looking Pancake ultra-short-focus optical solution, which makes the product thickness only 42mm, and through the multi-lens folding optical path, it overcomes the edge blur and distortion caused by the traditional one-piece Fresnel optical solution. . The second-generation product is priced at 4,999 yuan. Compared with the general price of 2,000 yuan for Meta, Pico and Dapeng VR, the price of YVR is almost twice that of its peers.

From the perspective of product positioning, Wangyu Internet Cafe has seized the current industry pain point: content.

In order to supplement the content of Pico, ByteDance has used many resources, including movies, short videos, variety shows, etc. But the problem is that it’s obviously superfluous to let users browse 2D content with VR glasses. ByteDance moves 2D videos such as short videos, variety shows, and movies into the Metaverse, and it is difficult to open the gap with mobile phones in terms of user experience.

Netfish Internet Cafe aims YVR at the B-end market, which can be said to be a bold and forward-looking attempt. The concept of Metaverse is still in its infancy, and it needs massive content to enrich this virtual world and provide developers with development tools. Not a good way.

Huang Feng, chairman and CEO of Play Dream Group, once told the media: “In the future, the domestic VR market will need more content suitable for Chinese consumers, and the hardware is to support these new content.” He also said, “From the perspective of the B-side , education and training, industrial production are the main scenarios, such as museums, science and technology museums, schools and companies like Starbucks will also purchase VR equipment for training.”

Although Netfish Internet Cafe claims to be an “infrastructure builder” in the Metaverse, at present, there is no public information showing that B-end customers have used YVR series products for employee training, software development and other activities. Although the YVR series has filled the market gap in terms of product positioning, its actual landing on the B-end is still unclear.

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