- Faced with virtual reality headsets from HTC and Meta, the Chinese manufacturer Pico is trying to distinguish itself.
- Sold for 429 euros, its new Pico 4 VR headset is autonomous, wireless to the paw, and offers access to a multitude of content.
- Offering an experience that is sometimes passive, contemplative or active, its potential seems immense to seduce all consumers.
It is the gaming accessory par excellence. But not only. With its autonomous virtual reality headset Pico 4 tested by 20 Minutes, the Chinese manufacturer Pico (owned by ByteDance, at the head of TikTok) testifies to the incredible field of action offered by a VR headset that is also relatively complete and economical.
When we talk about VR headset, we necessarily think of HTC and its Vive range (like the Vive Pro, sold for 509 euros), but even more so Meta with its Meta Quest 2 (sold for 449 euros). Alternative, with the Pico 4. To spend a little less (429 euros) while having an exciting and complete virtual reality experience, this new headset has very serious arguments.
On the head, it is light (584 g) but above all very balanced. With its 5,300 mAh battery placed on the back, the Pico 4 does not weigh down the front of the skull and allows long sessions without real gene. A small accessory to add even allows it to be used with glasses. Once turned on, all you have to do is create an account (which will allow you to access free content, but also to buy it), to make your avatar, to define your playing area with its virtual walls, and to dive into the world of VR.
To perfect the experience, you can perfectly adapt the vision to your vision in a few seconds for perfect sharpness. That of the Pico 4 has two LCD screens with a definition of 2,160 x 2,160 pixels for each eye. That's more than the Meta Quest, whose resolution is 1,834 x 1,920 pixels. For its part, the HTC Vive Pro is still better, with 2,880 x 1,600 pixels, but especially AMOLED screens.
Two speakers, located on the branches of the headphones, broadcast a sound powerful enough to make the experience well immersive. As for the controllers, their ergonomics are perfect, the two arches surmounting them to avoid clashing them during a game or a sports session a little too lively.
A stunning playground
Still, we are immediately amazed by what we see. First, the Pico 4 offers a so-called "pass through" view that allows, especially at the time of the implementation of the helmet, to see the room in which you are and to perfectly define your playground. Pico also announces upcoming applications that will use this possibility that allows to evolve in mixed reality.
Controllers in hand (the equivalent of gamepads), it is easy to navigate through the menus displayed in one of the three virtual scenery offered (to choose from: home theater, Imax room and beach). Each controller has a beam with which it is enough to point the desired icon to launch its contents.
Bungee jumping over Manhattan
And obviously, we want to try everything. For our tests, we bravely did bungee jumping from a helicopter over New York (vomitive!); discovered the Big Bang through a (fascinating!) documentary; we are taken for a Ninja Master with Cooking Simulator (cutting edge!); played Afterlife (scary!), We were even able to binge series on AppleTV+, Disney+ and Paramount+ in front of a virtual screen in a deserted but cozy movie theater setting.
And we finally tried to burn a few calories with the Mills Body Combat (sweating) sports program. Free or paid, passive (even contemplative), or active content, there is something for everyone, for all ages and for all tastes. By connecting your smartphone to the headset through the Pico application, it is even possible to record videos of all your exploits and share them. We can also stream our experiences on a connected TV or computer screen.
Asian origin of the helmet obliges, there are also a host of small clips where young women dance, play the guitar ... We stumbled upon Girlfriends cooking with love, mini-clips with which we can have a virtual breakfast alone (and in all good, all honor!) with a lady who slips strawberries in our mouth and tells us that we are "a naughty boy"...
The app store as a sinews of war
There remains the rather exceptional potential of such equipment. Sold for 429 euros in 128 GB (499 euros in 256 GB) – the price of a mid-range smartphone – the Pico 4 opens the field of possibilities to countless entertainments. We're asking for more!
We think more broadly of all the everyday professional applications that virtual reality is about to offer. And we can imagine that video and VR meetings may boost teleworking. A condition for this: to be able to participate with a real or holographic view of the participants, and no longer with an avatar (as with the Meeting VR application).
This will undoubtedly be the sinews of war for the manufacturers of these helmets: in addition to the embedded technology, they will have to offer well-stocked and diversified blinds. Even if Pico's is not as fleshed out as Meta's (especially for the game), it grows visibly and there is something to satisfy all appetites. With, each time, this "wow" effect that is instantaneous.
- Tik Tech
- 20 minutes video
- Virtual reality