TikTok's Parent Goes Gunning For Meta Quest 2 With Its Low Cost Pico 4 VR Headset

pico vr
Meta could be getting some new competition in virtual reality. TikTok's parent company ByteDance has announced a new VR headset under its Pico brand. The Pico 4 has many of the same features as the Meta Quest 2, and it's even more impressive in some ways. However, you won't be able to get one in the US right now. The initial launch will take place in Asia and Europe, with more markets to come later.

The Pico 4 runs on the same Qualcomm XR2 platform with its Adreno 650 GPU as the Meta Quest 2, but it has 8GB of RAM—2GB more than Meta's headset. It also uses the same "inside-out" approach to tracking as the Quest 2, so you don't have to deal with external sensor towers. One of the big issues with the Quest 2 is how front-heavy it is, but ByteDance says it's addressed that with the Pico 4. It has a hefty 5,300mAh battery, but it's mounted to the strap on the back of the headband. Some Quest 2 users have taken to adding supplementary batteries to the strap because it helps balance the headset while also boosting the 5,000mAh battery.

The similar hardware will help as Pico tries to catch up to Meta in software. There will be 165 games available at launch, including Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, Demeo, and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. Pico has also demoed its social VR experience, known as Pico Worlds, both the name and design look surprisingly similar to Meta's Horizon Worlds. Although, the avatars do have legs, which is something Meta is still working on for some reason. Plus, the Pico 4 will work with Steam VR if you plug it into a PC.

On the display front, Pico outdoes the Quest 2. It sports a resolution of 4,320 x 2,160 per eye to the Quest 2's 1832 x 1920 per eye. The device has four cameras and can do full-color passthrough video. Both the resolution and passthrough are closer to what we expect from Meta's upcoming Project Cambria headset, which will be priced several times higher than the Quest 2—reports are predicting well over $1,000. Pico promises slimmer pancake lenses, which are one of the primary improvements slated for Cambria (possibly to be branded as Meta Quest Pro), and the interpupillary distance (IPD) will be fully adjustable with a motorized slider.

All that's not to say the Pico 4 is going to crush the Quest 2 on price. It's launching with 128GB of storage for €429 (around $422). A version with 256GB of storage boosts that to €499 (approximately $491). Meta recently raised the price of the Quest 2 to $399. There will also be some accessories coming next year, like a fitness tracker and carrying case.