A version of this article previously appeared on TechNode.
The Chinese tech giant has clearly been eyeing the VR market, and this is its first VR product since its acquisition of the Beijing-based company Pico last year for 9 billion RMB (1.27 billion USD).
Founded in March 2015, Pico is a major VR hardware and services vendor. In addition to its products for the consumer market, it also provides services for enterprise clients in education and healthcare.
Pico took 11% of the global XR market by shipments in the second quarter of this year, ranking third overall. Its major rival, Meta, dominated with a 66% market share during the same period, according to Counterpoint, a Hong Kong-based research firm. The new Pico 4 and 4 Pro aim to serve as a strong alternative to the Meta Oculus, which sells with prices starting from 399 USD, according to Meta's official website.
At the release event, Pico announced content partnerships with Ubisoft, Les Mills International, and Discovery for gaming, fitness courses, and video streaming, respectively. Popular dancing game Just Dance will arrive on Pico as an exclusive, and there are also plans for a dedicated social platform, Project Pico World, which will be available sometime in 2023.
The Pico 4 will be available in Japan, South Korea, and 13 European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, and Spain, from October 18. And it will come to China, Singapore, and Malaysia later this year. A U.S. release has not been announced.
ByteDance first announced the series overseas rather than in China, breaking from most Chinese consumer electronics vendors and signaling its prioritization of global markets.
The headset uses inside-out tracking tech that enables the user to be located without external beacons or equipment. It comes with four cameras to support a full-color passthrough feature that creates mixed reality, something its rival Meta is still working on.
The Pico 4 also comes with two motion controllers, which support vibration feedback.
The major difference between the standard version and the Pro version (which is coming soon) is that the Pro has three infrared cameras for eyes and facial tracking. It also features accurate measurement, automatic adjustment of the pupil distance and IPD to ensure image quality, reducing discomfort.
Cover image via Pico's official Weibo
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