ByteDance subsidiary Pico has unveiled its latest virtual reality headset. The Pico 4 will initially be available in Japan, South Korea, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and eight other European countries. Pico hasn't revealed US release plans as yet, but it aims to bring the device to Singapore and Malaysia by the end of the year, and China at a later date.
The headset — which has a Qualcomm XR2 processor, an Adreno 650 GPU and 8GB of RAM — can be used as a standalone device. Pico claims the battery, which is in the rear strap to help keep things balanced, offers around three hours of use on a single charge, as The Verge notes. The device weighs 295 grams without the strap and 586 grams when it's attached.
Imagination, the only limitation #PICO4
PICO 4 is well-equipped to provide an enhanced #VR experience without compromising comfort.
Let us know which features you love the most!
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— PICO XR (@PICOXR) September 22, 2022
You can also connect Pico 4 to a gaming PC for higher-end VR experiences. That might be necessary to make full use of the dual displays, which offer higher than 4K resolution at 4,320 x 2,160 resolution for each eye. The displays have a 90Hz refresh rate and 105-degree field of view, according to Pocket-lint.
The Pico 4 uses inside-out tracking with no need for external beacons. It comes with Pico 4 motion controllers (which have vibration features) and there are four external cameras, as Road to VR points out. According to the Pico website, the device will offer full-color passthrough — something Meta is working on for its Project Cambria headset.
Given that ByteDance also owns TikTok, it shouldn't be surprising that there's a way to view videos from that app. You'll be able to share VR experiences to TikTok as well. There will be hundreds more things to watch in VR and 360 formats. Pico is working to bring live sports and "avatar-based concerts" to the platform as well.
As for games, there are 165 of them in the Pico store and more being added each week. The headset will support the likes of Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, Demeo, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, All-in-One Summer Sports VR and Just Dance VR (which will arrive in 2023 as a Pico exclusive). There will also be SteamVR support.
Meanwhile, there are plans to launch a metaverse-style experience called Pico Worlds next year. Unlike in Meta's Horizon Worlds, Pico's avatars appear to have legs.
Considering the price and specs, it's Pico is trying to compete with Meta Quest 2 (Meta recently bumped up the price of that product). Whether the brand can hang with Meta on the content front remains to be seen. Users are unlikely to be able to play Beat Saber, for instance. Pico also revealed its latest device just a few weeks before Meta will show off at least one VR headset, likely to be the higher-end Project Cambria model, at Connect.
A Pico 4 with 128GB of storage costs €429 (around $422). A model with double the storage capacity will run you €499 (approximately $491). Preorders open next month and the headset will ship on October 18th. Pico also plans to release some accessories next year. A more accurate fitness tracker, a wireless dongle for PC connectivity and a carrying case will each cost €50 (or around $49).