finally a worthy alternative to the Meta Quest 2?

The new VR headset from ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, looks quite promising.

Pico, a branch of the ByteDance group which notably owns the social platform TikTok, has just unveiled its future virtual reality headset in a tweet spotted by Engadget. It aims to compete with the excellent Quest 2, the spearhead of Meta’s VR ecosystem – at least, while waiting for the release of its new high-end helmet called Cambria.

The helmet in question, called Pico 4, is small and quite light with only 295 grams on the scale. With the battery, it will take 585 grams. But that hasn’t stopped Pico from putting some very decent hardware into it. There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, an Adreno 650 GPU and 8 GB of RAM. This will serve its Fast-LCD display surfaces of 2160×2160 pixels per eye – slightly more than the 1832 x 1920 pixels of the Quest 2. The FOV is announced at 105°, and the refresh rate at 90 Hz.

Not enough to compete with high-end devices, but it could effectively put it in the same category as the Quest 2; this data sheet in any case suggests that it can be used standalone, without depending on a PC.

Like the Quest 2, the Pico 4 will also have a hand tracking function. It will also be equipped with a couple of motion detectors in 3 dimensions. Note that these are not directly integrated into the device; they attach to the legs to improve location accuracy.

Pico also housed the 5,300 mAh battery in the back of the strap. A bit like the Elite Strap available as an option with the Meta device. It should therefore play the role of counterweight. This will balance the set during extended gaming sessions. The manufacturer announces about three hours of battery life.

As for the software part, the Pico Store offers just over 150 games. Note that the device will also be SteamVR compatible.

An equivalent to Quest 2 without Meta services?

Based on this technical sheet, it seems that the brand has won its bet; this Pico 4 actually looks like a real competitor to the Quest 2. In any case, it will be very interesting to compare the two machines; if the performance is there, it could indeed be an attractive alternative for those who adamantly refuse to connect to Facebook’s services to use their device… even if ByteDance and TikTok are also far from faultless in regarding data collection and privacy.

The price of the two machines is also very similar. Where the Quest 2 starts at €449 since its last price hike, the Pico 4 128 GB will be sold 429€ . The 256 GB model, meanwhile, will change 499€.

It should be available for pre-order today on the Pico site. It is currently impossible to access the page in question, but it should only be a matter of time. The first deliveries are expected on October 18.

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