TikTok’s new VR headset competes with Meta in terms of price

A man wearing Pico 4 goggles looks sideways, sitting next to another man wearing VR goggles

The Pico 4 headset is the cheapest and powerful enough VR device for the Meta Quest 2 we’ve seen so far.
Screenshot: Pico / ByteDance

Meta is terrified of TikTok overbearing presence in the social media market, and now it seems the company behind the app, ByteDance, is looking to grab a Meta stake in Metaverse with a headset that comes closest in price to Quest 2.

Branch Bytedance VR, Pico, introduced Pico 4 on Thursday’s English-language live stream that was in equal measure dreadful and surprising – largely due to how much it seems to be aiming for the Meta. The device will sell for $ 425 (€ 429) for the 128GB version and $ 492 (€ 499) for the 256GB version.

Most importantly, however, the device will only be put into operation outside its home country of Japan, Korea and 13 countries in Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The Chinese market will receive its own announcement on September 27, and full pre-orders will begin on October 18. Borderland noted that the headset could eventually arrive in the US, based on FCC Reports.

Pico 4 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 2.84 GHz octa-core processor, according to product specification page. Given that Meta has already signed a deal with Qualcomm for custom chipsets, it will be interesting to see how powerful this device will be compared to future assignments. Otherwise, Pico 4 boasts a fairly high resolution of 4320 x 2160 (of course it’s 2160 pixels per eye). Two 2.56-inch LCD screens offer refresh rates from 72 Hz to 90 Hz.

The headband is just a single strap, but Pico promotes that the weight of the device is well-balanced with a 5,300mAh battery positioned behind your head. The device controllers are also interesting. The loops used by the headset to track your position are angled in front of the palms, not around or in front of the palms. The four buttons used in most modern games are common to both controllers.

But Pico also advertises that you won’t have to use the controllers for everything as the device has palm-tracking capabilities. Of course, the company didn’t show this feature in action. Quest 2 also has hand tracking.

Last year, ByteDance redeemed Pico for an undisclosed amount. Pico has been recognized as one of the largest manufacturers of VR goggles. It was a deal that mirrored Facebook during the purchase Oculus in 2014. Even then, we speculated that the owner of TikTok may have started a duel with a rival in the social media space, and it seems that with the specifications and price announced, the company is poised to make a statement.

Meta lately raised the price both 128GB and 256GB Quest 2 at $ 100, so Pico 4 now sits comfortably in a $ 399 Quest headset.

But what can make a difference here is the software available for the device. Pico makes little mention of what games its system will support, but instead advertises proprietary sports and video content. Pico showed off some upcoming games including The walking dead: the retribution of saints and sinners and Peaky Blinders: The Royal Ransom alongside other VR classics such as horn, the company has promised that more VR games will be added to the Pico store over time.

Pico seems to be following Meta and its metaverse directly via his “Avatar System”. Leland Hedges, Pico’s CEO, showed off his rather skinny and plastic avatar, but apparently this avatar will be used in many applications, including “Pico Worlds”, the company’s own response to Horizon Worlds Meta. The company also boasts the ability to track the facial muscles that will be played on the player’s avatars.

“He really looks like me, right,” said Hedges during the live broadcast in a very stiff and uncomfortable way. Horizon Worlds has recently made a lot of jokes just about it how bad it looksto the point where CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to go out and tell everyone that his own avatar would never look like a dead doll forever graphic updates.

Pico is also shooting Meta before the company can announce its upcoming Meta Quest Prowhich Zuckerberg recently He said was due to be revealed in October at the annual Connect conference. We still don’t know what the price model of the device was once called Project Cambria, although some leaks suggest it may cost over $ 800, possibly placing it around other mid-to-high-tier headsets. The Pico will reportedly also run on the Pro model, which includes eyeball tracking, though we don’t know much about it yet.

However, don’t forget that ByteDance isn’t the best company when it comes to people’s private data. It was surrounded by a scandal in recent months, after an internal sound leak, it was mentioned that user data might be visible to Chinese government officials. All this proprietary focus on the in-house store makes it a bit disturbing.

At the same time, patents submitted by Meta and disclosed by The Financial Times has already revealed the potential plans of the American company to sell facial expressions and more to advertisers. It’s a pity for two big companies with a long history pledging user data we also strive to be the biggest players on devices that have the ability to track everything related to our lives, including our movements.

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