Pico announces its new standalone virtual reality headset, the Pico 4

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Introductory price €429

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Subsidiary of ByteDance (TikTok) specialized in virtual reality, Pico had warned us: in May 2022, the launch of the Neo 3 Link on the European market, in very limited quantities and only from a few specialized retailers, was only a first step in its strategy to conquer the western market for autonomous virtual reality. But we didn’t expect the sequel to come so soon. It is indeed from this month of September that the manufacturer will deliver on the Old Continent the first copies of the Pico 4, its new generation all-in-one helmet.

The Pico 4 virtual reality headset

“New generation” does not mean integrated computing power, since the Pico 4 still embeds this good old Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 SoC, which we have known since the launch of the Meta (ex-Oculus) Quest 2 in 2020. Everything around it, on the other hand, shows some notable updates. The helmet itself is striking above all for its compactness, made possible by the use of new ultra-thin “pancake” optics.

This finesse is also made possible by the offset of the battery (which provides approximately 3 hours of autonomy) at the back of the rigid headband, rather than at the front of the helmet. This also has obvious consequences on the weight distribution, which is much better balanced. The manufacturer claims a mass of only 295 g for the visor itself, resulting in a feeling of reduced pressure on the face.

Thinner display, but still in LCD

The display definition is also significantly higher than the standard that is the Quest 2. It reaches around 2000 x 2000 pixels per eye, a value very close to that of the PlayStation VR2 for example. On the other hand, and unlike the latter, the Pico 4 is still content with a very classic LCD panel, with obviously less spectacular contrast than the Oled. The distance between the optics (interpupillary distance, or IPD) is adjustable between 62 and 72 mm.

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The Pico 4 virtual reality headset

The controllers are based on the Quest 2 model, but with a motion tracking hoop that now extends to the wrist for better visibility by the motion tracking cameras. inside out of the helmet. We are told that this should notably improve the reliability of tracking when positioning one controller right behind the other, for example in an archery game. All of this, of course, needs to be verified in real conditions.

165 games planned in the launch window

Finally, on the key question of content, the Pico 4 relies on the same application store as the manufacturer’s previous helmets, which tells us that it is working hard to curry favor with all developers. renowned VR apps. The development of the catalog is done on four axes: video games, fitness apps, 360° video and social applications. The first two remain the most important to this day.

The Pico 4 virtual reality headset

On the gaming side, Pico promises 165 titles in the headset launch window, and the upcoming arrival of flagship VR titles, such as The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners Chapter 2: Retribution Where just dance, in simultaneous launch with the other platforms on the market. As for sports enthusiasts in VR – which we know are relatively numerous – they will be delighted to learn that the manufacturer is developing optional activity monitoring modules, which will be available in the months following the launch of the helmet. It should also be noted that Pico is working on the development of a wireless adapter for PC, which will allow the Pico 4 to be used with Steam VR and Viveport apps.

The Pico 4 will be available for pre-order from September 23 for users who participated in the Neo 3 Link test program. This will be followed by a general launch on October 18 in 13 European markets (including France), as well as in South Korea and Japan. The manufacturer prefers not to risk a launch on the American continent for the moment. The Pico 4 will be offered in two configurations: one with 128 GB of storage at €429, the second with 256 GB of storage at €499.

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