[Review] Here comes the new challenger - PICO 4
Price: RM 1,699
- Slow update on PICO Store
+ Great value
- No access to huge VR titles
I bet some of you guys were too lazy to head out for exercise and seek entertainment, but the mood suddenly fades away as soon as you think how bad the traffic would be. What if I tell you that one VR headset will provide you with both entertainment and exercise? As the PICO 4 All-in-One VR Headset is launched in Malaysia, min min has gotten the PICO 4 and is here to share my experience with anyone regardless of the All-in-One VR.
Unboxing & Appearance
The side of the packaging for the PICO 4 shows the rendering image of the PICO 4 All-in-One Headset and 2 Controllers while the top locates the branding name; PICO 4.
Other than the VR Headset and the 2 Controllers, you may find these items inside the box:
2 Controllers Lanyards
USB-C Power Adapter
USB-C to C Data Cable
Quick Guide, User Guide, Safety & Warranty Guide
Fun Fact, the PICO 4 is 26.2% lighter than the Neo3 (295g), the thickness of the PICO 4 is 38.6% thinner (35.8mm), and it is packed with a 5300mAh large battery capacity for longer battery life yet still making it light and comfortable to be worn on.
The opaque black glass upfront of the PICO 4 is where the 16MP pass-through camera is located alongside four inside-out tracking cameras at each corner of the headset with amazing precision to track the surroundings around it.
Additionally, to prevent you from becoming a sweaty mess after playing for around an hour, there is plenty of cushioning around the face mask and headrest and exceptional breathability capabilities upfront. The face mask is held on with magnets so that you wouldn’t need any tools to detach it.
The glasses spacer is also held on with magnets, people who wear glasses can experience the PICO 4 VR without having to take their glasses off. Cheers~ now you are looking through 6 lenses at a time. Moreover, the Volume buttons live on the right arm which is convenient for quick adjustments without opening the settings menus.
Other than that, the power button and indicator light is located below the volume button. The indicator light will turn blue when the headset is powered on, the color even changes based on the battery life (Red - Lower than 20%, Blue - Lower than 98%, Green - Higher than 98% or charged up).
The Pico 4 features a rigid strap that can be pivoted down over the wearer's head using a wheel on the rear until you are comfortable with the adjustment.
When it comes to control scheme compatibility in games, the controllers' button layout is almost identical to that of the Quest 2controllers (ABXY). The notable feature of the PICO 4 controllers is the ring surrounding the back of your hand to prevent hitting the objects from your surroundings.
Note that the controllers both are powered with a 2 AA battery rather than USB-rechargeable ones. Remember to put on the controller lanyards so they don’t fly out during gaming sessions.
The PICO 4 is equipped with a Qualcomm XR2 processor, 8GB RAM + 128/256GB ROM. If you use the PICO 4 to play Steam VR Games, a 128GB ROM version would be enough. But if you prefer to game on the PICO 4, the 256GB ROM version will be a better option. In terms of display, the PICO 4 is equipped with a 2 2.56-inches Fast-LCD Display that supports up to 4K resolutions and a 90Hz refresh rate to ensure the best viewing experience.
Officially, the headset supports a variable interpupillary distance (IPD) of 62 to 72 mm. IPD is the distance between the lenses setting you can tweak until the images are clear. The good thing is it automatically adjusts the lenses for you.
Furthermore, the PICO 4 is packed with a 5300mAh battery capacity alongside a 20W Charger which can last for at least 2 - 3 hours before it dies which is pretty decent uptime for a VR headset. But the 20W Charging would take about 1 hour and a half to bring it back to life.
At the first startup on the PICO 4, players can choose whether to log in with a new or existing PICO account. After logging in, you can select your play area according to the 3 default settings or even draw your own play area if you have limited space.
You will find yourself in a “space capsule” after finishing setting up your accounts and play area. Of course, you can change different environments in scene management.
At the bottom is where you will find the taskbar, starting from the left are User Center, Fitness Center, and Notifications. Players will need to insert their information (including height and weight) so that PICO 4 can monitor and calculate the calories burned when gaming.
The center-left locates some features such as Explore, Store, Friends, File Manager, and My Library. The PICO browser and quick settings can be followed on the right side. I would say that the quick settings are one of the features I liked the most. Not only it has a clean user-friendly interface, Battery, Wi-Fi settings, Brightness, Screencast, and other most common functions can be found inside too.
Besides that, if you got the Starter pack for PICO 4, you will be able to enjoy at least 4 different games such as All-in-One Sports VR, Down The Rabbit Hole, Oh Shape, and After The Fall. Though you might need to download it from the Store.
Alright, let’s try on the first game <All-in-One Sports VR> on PICO 4. At first, I was wondering if I need to connect it to any headphones for audio output. Comes out that the PICO 4 has built-in speakers on both sides of the headset band
The <All-in-One Sports VR> has a total of 11 types of sports available to be played. Players would need to drag the “mini guy” from the sports game and place it in the center to start the game.
For me, I have chosen the boxing game. There are 5 difficulties whereby it unlocks after clearing the previous difficulty. Dodging is available so that you don’t need to tank all the hits from the opponent. Also, the HyperSense from the controllers is worth mentioning as it provides feedback to simulate punching.
Apart from the <All-in-One Sports VR> game, I also try another game from Steam VR called <Propagation VR>. It is a survival horror zombie shooting game that is FREE on Steam.
Being isolated in the zombie-infested subway station is quite terrifying. Luckily I’m still allowed to carry a few guns with me to survive through the hellhole. although the <Propagation VR> is kinda short, it still gave me a thrilling experience throughout the game.
You can connect the PICO 4 to play VR games on your PC via a wired connection and a wireless connection through the “Virtual Desktop”. Unfortunately, you will need to pay RM 92.99 to unlock the “Virtual Desktop” feature to play SteamVR Games wirelessly.
To connect the PICO 4 wirelessly:
Install “Streaming Assistance” from the PICO website
Install “SteamVR” from Steam
Open the “Streaming Assistance” on your PC and return to PICO 4 to start the “Streaming Assistance” and you’re all set!
For a wired connection, you would need to prepare a USB-C to USB-A/C to connect the PICO 4 to the PC (Only USB 3.0). Also, the same Wi-Fi connection for PICO 4 and the connected device (PC) is required to pair.
Aside from playing VR games, you can also stream any entertainment video on PICO 4 including TikTok. Just type in the website on the PICO browser and enjoy. The difference between watching TikTok on a phone and watching it on PICO 4 is that the aspect ratio will change according to the source (16:9 for horizontal, 9:16 for vertical).
If the video file is too large to be downloaded on PICO 4, the “Remote Play Assistance” is here to save you by allowing you to stream the video through a Wi-Fi connection (something like broadcast) to your PICO 4.
Buy or no buy?
To conclude, the PICO 4 is a great All-in-One VR Gear that min min would definitely buy it. A VR Gear that supports 4K and comes with a built-in store with a wide selection of VR games starting from RM 1,699 is quite a good deal. Also, the design of the headset looks modern and doesn’t feel bulky which is comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The bad thing about the PICO 4 is that the wireless connection will have a slight delay and face FPS drops compared to a wired connection that provides a seamless experience while playing VR games on a PC. Thus, I could not achieve a fully wireless VR experience.