The clear top dog in the VR market is Meta, for which the TikTok sister company PICO now wants to make life difficult. The new headset has a higher resolution , is smaller and lighter than its predecessor . Will the big rise in Europe come with the PICO 4?
PICO a sister company of TikTok
We already reported on the PICO Neo 3 Link at the beginning of the year in April . This was the manufacturer’s first consumer headset for Europe. Before that, the company focused primarily on corporate customers and was active in the Chinese home market. In addition to PICO, there are other VR glasses manufacturers from China, but since the company was bought by Bytedance, the TikTok parent company, interest here has of course increased significantly.
Significantly smaller, but still higher resolution
The big innovation is the changed lens type. Instead of Fresnel, there is now pancake , which enables a significantly smaller form factor. But that doesn’t prevent a 90 Hz refresh rate and an LCD with a total resolution of 4320 x 2160 pixels (2160 x 2160 per eye). The field of view is 105° and the interpupillary distance (IPD) can be freely adjusted between 62 and 72 mm . In fact, there is no new processor, the Qualcomm XR2 is used here again, which is also in the Neo 3 Link and the Meta Quest 2 . There is also 8 GB of RAM and either 128 or 256 GB of storage.
Thanks to the new form factor, the weight of the glasses themselves is only 295 g , together with the headband it is 586 g.
Improved audio and vibration system
It also offers 6DoF and uses four cameras for tracking, the position of which has now been optimized. In addition, there is now a 16 MP pass-through camera that can also display colors (wow).
The controllers are still quite similar, but are now said to have improved vibration , which allows for better haptic feedback. But the audio system is also said to have received improvements .
Strong focus on software
But VR glasses can still be so good if they don’t offer any content. PICO OS, the in-house operating system based on Android, runs on the glasses themselves. Games and apps can be installed directly on the device via the PICO Store and used without additional hardware.
Games mentioned include Walking Dead Saints & Sinners and the upcoming Peaky Blinders VR game . This year they want to be particularly active in filling the store with more content and working with developers so that games appear in the PICO Store at the same time as the competition. But of course you can’t avoid making the social media giant TikTok available from your own company .
PICO Video & PICO Worlds
But there are also in-house apps such as PICO Video or Pico Worlds , which is now starting in closed beta. PICO Video is a free video service that should currently contain 600 videos. They also offer VR concerts via Wave and would like to broadcast sporting events in 360° in the future. PICO Worlds is a hub world with custom avatars that can be outfitted with unique items. Here it is then possible to meet up with friends and, for example, to wait for a game to start. Friends of the Metaverse will also get their money’s worth at PICO.
Fitness has also been recognized as an important focus and offers a PICO fitness app . In this you can see burned calories and select games according to the intensity of the training. However, how accurate these values are without additional fitness sensors has to be proven in practice.
To better integrate your movement into games and training programs, there are additional fitness trackers (49€) that you can attach to your body. For example, you can attach the tracker to your foot during a football game and thus display the movement precisely in the VR world.
A mixed reality mode is to follow next year, so that you can link the real world with the VR world with the help of a green screen and an additional camera . Created content can then be shared directly on TikTok, for example.
Connection to Steam
Players with the appropriate computers have also been thought of. You can also access your Steam library with the glasses via a wireless connection . As an alternative to connecting via Wi-Fi and the router, there is a separately available adapter for the PC (49€), which establishes a direct connection to the PICO 4 .
By the way, don’t be surprised if a PICO 4 Pro version will appear soon, but this is exclusive to China and only comes in Europe as an Enterprise Edition for professional users.
Final Words: Now you have to deliver
If you have a very similar device to the Meta Quest 2 with the PICO Neo 3 Link, you are ahead of the Metaverse company and bring useful innovations. Furthermore, one has the advantage of being officially available in Germany. With the PICO 4 one would like to start at Amazon, MediaMarkt & Co. Shortly before Christmas, it should be possible to try out the glasses in stores. Those who live in Munich can soon look forward to a pop-up store there where the glasses will also be available for testing.
The price remains close to the predecessor at €429 for 128 GB and €499 for 256 GB . The glasses are available from September 23rd. available for pre-order but exclusively for 1 week for PICO Neo 3 Link buyers who also get the promised 35% discount . October is the “real” start of pre-orders from the well-known retailers and delivery starts on October 18th.
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