Pico’s latest standalone headset signals a new era in consumer VR hardware.
Pico has announced the launch of its next-generation all-in-one VR headset, the Pico 4, which aims to make VR more accessible to beginners and experienced gamers by providing a superior VR experience with a focus on performance and comfort.
During a press announcement, Leland Hedges, GM at PicoXR, walked us through some of the highlights of their new VR headset, saying, “XR can be for everyone and be a more mainstream technology.”
One of those highlights was that the Pico 4 uses pancake optics, which are much smaller and much lighter than the lenses you’d find in current headsets. The headset is also thinner (35.88mm at its thinnest) and lighter than the Meta Quest 2; 285g (without the strap) to be exact.
Of course, thanks to its smaller size, the Pico 4 can easily fit into a backpack or even a medium-sized sling.
The Pico 4 is equipped with an impressive 90Hz refresh rate and a 1,200 PPI display, making it an ideal all-in-one device for users who are looking for an impressive visual experience.
The Pico 4 features adjustable straps and a SuperSkin cushion lining which is made from a material that has a unique ability to keep you cool and dry as you run around post-apocalyptic New Orleans killing zombies in The Walking Dead Saints and Sinners. Its anti-slip PU leather at the back of the headset also gives you more control and comfort during gameplay.
Speaking of gameplay, the Pico 4 features a large 5,300mah battery. On a full charge it can deliver up to three hours of gameplay and when the juice runs out, no worries, the battery is the latest generation of Quick Charge QC 3.0, meaning it charges pretty damn fast. To keep your peepers safe during those extended VR sessions the company sprung for TÜV Rheinland Blue Light Certification, making the VR headset an ideal all-in-one device for extended play.
Its ergonomic design also accommodates folks who wear glasses. Similar to the Quest 2, glasses spacers are included with each headset.
With four well-placed SLAM cameras around the thin frame of the HMD (head-mounted display), the Pico 4 allows for high-precision tracking and mapping of the surrounding environment while maintaining a stylish appearance. Underneath the cover of the HMD hides a powerful 16MP RGB camera, which produces vivid color, and a Qualcomm SnapdragonTM XR2 chipset and Adreno 650, which delivers a delicate balance of performance and power consumption.
The Pico 4 controllers have this cool one-piece rotating arc column that features a variety of sensors there to provide you with a safe and comfortable experience. According to Hedges, the arc design can help during accidental drops and impacts, though I’m not sure how exactly.
The device supports 6DoF and HyperSense broadband motors, which allow users to enjoy a wider range of movement in their virtual environment.
In an official press release, Henry Zhou, President of Pico said, “We are delighted to announce the Pico 4, our best VR headset yet,” adding “At Pico, we pride ourselves on offering immersive and interactive VR experiences, and Pico 4 introduces even more diverse content across gaming, fitness, and video.”
As part of the launch of their new all-in-one mass market VR headset, Leland Hedges talked about four important pillars for the company that they felt would deliver huge value to their consumers: Games, fitness, video, and social.
Having a great VR headset is one thing, but it’s nothing without content. When the Pico 4 launches, owners will be able to play games such as The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Peaky Blinders, Ultimechs, The King’s Ransom, Demeo, Real VR Fishing, Walkabout Mini Golf, and more. The company will have a “world-class library” of content for you to choose from, and they plan on releasing 2-3 new games each week.
VR fitness is huge right now with thousands of people using VR as part of their weight loss journey. The Pico Fitness App will help you find the perfect VR game for you to play based on your fitness goals. One of the accessories that you can purchase will be the Pico tracker, which developers can program to be used on different parts of your body.
Pico will also have a fitness program that will help you keep track of your workout progress, historical VR gameplay data, and energy output. You’ll also find popular fitness apps such as Les Mills Body Combat and Creed: Rise to Glory.
Pico will feature a dedicated video app that supports TikTok. Just sign into your account through your Pico 4 headset and start scrolling in VR. Of course, there’ll be various other video content to explore. The Pico 4 will offer over 600 videos in their library and they have a partnership with the music site Wave to stream live events.
Pico is also launching a new partnership with Discovery to offer its content in VR, and the company is looking to add exclusive 360 sports content in the coming months.
It seems that every platform has its own metaverse platform, and Pico is no exception. After all, one of the biggest advantages of VR is how the technology can bring people from all around the world together through apps such as Rec Room, Decentraland, Horizon Worlds, VR Chat, AltspaceVR, and Neos. Pico Worlds will soon join that list next year.
Pico is currently running a closed beta with select users. The company is testing out avatars with 80 points of customization as well as in-headset video calls that let you see what you’re friend is seeing in VR.
On top of the Pico 4, Pico will also launch a wide range of accessories compatible with their new VR headset. This includes the Pico Fitness band, which is designed to monitor lower body movements, and a variety of stylish carrying cases that can be used for easy transportation. These accessories will be available in 2023.
The Pico 4 will be available starting at £379 in Europe through the Neo3 Link Beta Program. Members of this program can pre-order the device through various online retailers such as Bestware, VR Expert, System Active, and Elkjop. Pre-orders will also be available to the general public in October through Amazon, Mediamarkt, The Very Group, and Coolblue.
The Pico 4 will be available in 13 European countries on October 18th and in Korea, Japan, and Malaysia later this year. Members of the company’s Neo3 Link Beta Program can pre-order the device starting September 23rd. The general public will be able to purchase the device in October.
No word on when the Pico 4 will be available in the U.S. For more information, head on over to the Pico website.
Image Credit: Pico