ByteDance is teasing an official announcement of Pico 4 for Thursday.
While the Chinese tech giant behind TikTok & Pico headsets hasn’t actually officially announced Pico 4, there is already overwhelming evidence for its existence. The company teased a successor to the Pico Neo 3 line when launching it to European consumers in April by saying it would give buyers a 35% discount “should there be another product that comes from Pico within the next 12 months”. In July a US regulatory filing for ‘Pico 4’ and ‘Pico 4 Pro’ emerged, followed by apparent images of the controllers leaking. And earlier this month, the Pro model showed up in a listing with the Bluetooth standard body.
Earlier this week a preorder listing on a Chinese online retailer teased the headset design and listed a launch date of September 27th. That appears to either be wrong or only the date for China, as ByteDance is now officially teasing a product announcement for September 22nd with a similar teaser image to the one seen in the listing.
An image in that US regulatory filing appeared to show pancake lenses, which support smaller panels with a shorter gap to the lenses and thus a slimmer headset design. And the text of the Bluetooth standards body listing suggests it may have higher resolution than Quest 2 as well as a color passthrough camera for mixed reality.
The biggest remaining question is how ByteDance plans to price the Pico 4 lineup. A Chinese analyst claims it will have an “aggressive subsidy”, but just how deep will this subsidy be? Will the base model match Quest 2’s $400 price with superior specs? And how will the Pro model’s price compare to the soon to launch Quest Pro? The answers to these questions will determine whether this will be the moment Meta faces true competition in the standalone VR market.