The Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: which standalone VR headset is better? (2023)

By Hamish Hector

published

Can Meta’s VR headset stay on top?

The Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: which standalone VR headset is better? (1)

Standalone headsets, like the Oculus Quest 2 or Pico 4, are great options for anyone interested in exploring VR. These types of gadgets give you the freedom to play VR games and enjoy immersive experiences wherever you are, without requiring connections to bulky PCs or external consoles.

For the past couple of years, the Oculus Quest 2 has been the undisputed champion within the VR space. This affordable, yet capable, standalone VR headset has sold around 15 million units – just five million shy of PS5 sales over the same period – and is today considered the most popular VR headset used by Steam players for PC VR. But the new Pico 4 VR headset is gunning for Quest 2’s crown.

If you’re weighing the Pico 4 against the Oculus Quest 2, we’re here to help. We’re going to compare the important aspects of each of these devices and declare an overall victor in our conclusion.

(Video) What's Better? Pico 4 vs Quest 2 vs Quest Pro (VR Headset Comparison)

TL;DR, you probably want the Pico 4 – unless you care about playing some of the best Oculus Quest 2 games available.

Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: price and availability

The Oculus Quest 2 is currently on sale in the US, UK, and Australia for $400 / £400 / AU$630 for its 128GB model, and $500 / £500 / AU$790 for its 256GB model. It used to be cheaper, but Meta increased the price of its headset in July 2022, citing rising production costs.

Unfortunately, the cheaper Pico 4 – costing just £379 for its 128GB version and £449 for the 256GB version – is currently only available for preorder in the UK (as well as parts of Europe and Asia).

The Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: which standalone VR headset is better? (2)

Rumors swirled that the Pico headset would also come to the US, but that has yet to happen. So for now, unless you can import a Pico 4, you can only choose Meta’s VR headset if you’re in the US or Australia. But for those of you in the UK, if we just looked at the price, the Pico 4 is the better option.

Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: design

All VR headsets have a fairly similar design; a display covers your eyes and is attached to your head via straps. But within those parameters, two headsets can still look fairly different.

The Oculus Quest 2 offers a more traditional design. All of the components – the display, batteries, and processing power – are housed in a single box that is what your eyes look into. The box itself is very bulky, and relies on a fresnel lens optical setup for users to be able to see the worlds they’re being immersed in.

By contrast, the Pico 4 has a next-gen design. It swaps out the fresnel lens setup for a newer pancake lens optics system that allows the display and lenses to be much closer together, making the front box much slimmer. In addition, the battery is situated at the back of the strap, further slimming down the part of the headset on your face and helping to better distribute the headset’s weight around your head.

Because of this, despite being heavier – coming in at 586g compared to the Quest 2’s 503g – the Pico 4 generally looks less bulky.

The Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: which standalone VR headset is better? (3)

At the time of writing, we haven’t had enough time to try out the Pico 4, so while we believe its design will likely have many advantages, we can’t say if its design is indeed effective. As such, we’ll have to call this round a draw; but we’ll update this page as soon as we’ve had a chance to review the VR headset properly.

Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: specs

Specs-wise, the Pico 4 is the clear frontrunner.

(Video) PICO 4 vs QUEST 2 - Should you Upgrade?

In terms of CPU and storage options, both headsets are identical – using the same Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip and coming in either 128GB or 256GB options.

But the Pico 4 pulls ahead in pretty much every other regard. It offers 8GB RAM, a display that’s 2,160 x 2,160 pixels per eye, and uses a 5300mAh battery; by comparison, the Oculus Quest 2 only has 6GB RAM, 1832 × 1920 pixels per eye, and a 3,640 mAh battery.

The only letdown is that the Pico 4’s display offers a max variable refresh rate of 90Hz, while the Oculus Quest 2 can get up to 120Hz. It should be noted that very few Quest 2 experiences currently support 120Hz gameplay, so most of the time you aren’t getting a framerate that smooth.

Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: features

In terms of features, both headsets are fairly similar. Both the Pico 4 and Oculus Quest 2 allow users to play VR games using a pair of controllers that incorporate intuitive button layouts and haptic feedback. But once again, the Pico 4 has some advantages. Both headsets use inside-out tracking – meaning you don’t need to set up any physical towers in the room before you play with other headsets – and both headsets have the hardware to facilitate 6DoF VR (or full-VR) experiences. This means the worlds are immersive and explorable rather than just static images that you can look at.

The Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: which standalone VR headset is better? (4)

The most significant feature difference is that – thanks to its 16MP RGB camera – the Pico 4 offers full-color passthrough. That means that the headset can show you a video feed of the real world around you that’s in full color, whereas the Quest 2 can only show it to you in grayscale. This allows developers to use the Pico 4 headset to deliver much more realistic and immersive AR experiences than what you can get on the Quest 2.

In addition, Pico 4 users can purchase an optional dongle that lets you play PC VR games wirelessly. You can connect your Oculus Quest 2 to a PC using a wireless connection, but it must piggyback on your Wi-Fi (a method called Air Link). If your network is busy and you don’t have an optimized setup, the Quest 2’s Air Link can be slow and nauseating. The Pico 4’s dongle gets over this hurdle by directly connecting you to your PC.

The Pico 4 also comes with support for optional fitness bands that you can purchase. These bands allow developers to track various parts of your body, to help improve immersive workouts and experiences. For example, the bands could be placed on each ankle for foot tracking, to monitor your leg movements for step tracking, or for facilitating full-body workouts.

Obviously, a downside of these last two features is that you must purchase additional add-ons, but the relatively cheap first-party peripherals – each one costs €49 (around $47 / £44 / AU$73) – aren’t too high a barrier to entry.

Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: VR experiences

Here’s where the Oculus Quest 2 might take the lead for some players over the Pico 4. Even though Pico headsets have been in the market for several years, the company’s back catalog and upcoming lineup of VR titles don’t boast the kind of heavy hitters within Meta’s library of media.

We’re talking Quest 2 exclusive games like Resident Evil 4, which is currently available, in addition to hotly anticipated games like Ghostbusters VR, the classic hit GTA San Andreas VR, and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed VR. These last few are scheduled to launch sometime in the near future, but only on Meta’s hardware.

If this exclusivity continues – with these and follow-up games only playable on Meta’s platform – then players desperate to jump into these games might be forced to stick with the Oculus Quest 2 (and future Meta hardware, like Project Cambria and the Oculus Quest 3).

That’s not to say that the Pico 4 doesn’t also boast some impressive games, but much of its existing library – and its most prominent upcoming titles like The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners Chapter 2 and The Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom – are available on the Quest 2. Though dance game fans among you will be excited to play the Pico 4 exclusive Just Dance when it launches in 2023, and it has been teased that other exclusive games are headed to the Pico 4 in the future.

We’ll just have to see how they compare to the Quest 2’s stellar lineup.

(Video) PICO 4 vs QUEST 2 – Should You Buy or Upgrade?

The Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: which standalone VR headset is better? (5)

Conclusion

Comparing the Pico 4 – or any other next-gen VR headset – with the Oculus Quest 2 was always going to be an unfair fight.

Even though two years isn’t long in the gaming world at large – the Xbox One and PS4 era lasted around seven years, and the Xbox 360 and PS3 era before it lasted just as long – VR gaming has moved on considerably from where it was when the Quest 2 launched.

This is in large part because the Quest 2 helped to invigorate the space, bringing more players than ever into VR and encouraging investment into ideas (like pancake lenses and eye-tracking) that have made headsets smaller and more powerful with little to no downside.

As such, Meta’s now two-year-old hardware was always going to be outclassed. But Meta also hiked the price of its VR headset – making it more expensive than this new more powerful rival – while not giving it a performance upgrade.

If the Oculus Quest 2 was its old $299 / £299 / AU$479 price, this would be much more of a fair fight with the Pico 4. But at its current ‘next-gen price tag,’ the Quest 2 feels like a solid second-place finisher next to ByteDance’s actual next-gen VR headset.

The only advantage Meta’s hardware has is its library of exclusive titles, many of which are the best VR games ever made. If that doesn’t matter much to you, then the Pico 4 looks like the clear winner here – and it might even be the best VR headset you can buy (at least in the UK, Europe, and the parts of Asia where it’s available).

Hamish is a Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.

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FAQs

Is Pico VR better than Oculus Quest 2? ›

Pico 4 vs the Oculus Quest 2: specs

Specs-wise, the Pico 4 is the clear frontrunner. In terms of CPU and storage options, both headsets are identical – using the same Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip and coming in either 128GB or 256GB options. But the Pico 4 pulls ahead in pretty much every other regard.

Which quest headset is best? ›

Bottom Line: The Meta Quest 2 (formerly the Oculus Quest 2) improves on the original headset in nearly every way possible, and at a more affordable price. It's the best $300 VR headset for newbies and experienced users alike.

Is the oculus Quest the best VR? ›

The Quest 2 used to be $299, but a surprise price bump to $400 (or $500 for the version with more storage) has made Meta's 2-year-old, self-contained VR headset even more expensive. But even with the increased price, the Quest 2 remains the best and most versatile VR headset of the moment.

Are there any competitors to Oculus Quest 2? ›

Escape to the virtual world with the best VR headsets with PC, mobile, and standalone options to choose from.

Is the Pico Neo 3 better than Quest 2? ›

The Oculus Quest 2 and the Pico Neo 3 Pro have similar screens. Both use single LCD screens with a resolution of 1832x1920. Whereas the Pico is limited to 72-90 Hz, the Oculus can go up to 120 Hz. A higher refresh rate means a potentially smoother experience at the expense of battery life and processing power.

Is Quest 3 coming out? ›

The Meta Quest 3 is on its way – although not until 2023, if current rumours are to be believed.

What is the #1 VR game? ›

1. Half-Life: Alyx (PC VR)

Which VR headset has the best resolution? ›

Best High-Resolution VR Headset

If 'resolution' is your buzzword of choice, the Vive Pro 2 is the one for you. With a resolution of 2,448 x 2,448 per eye, the HTC Vive Pro 2 will let you forget all about the screen-door effect, but you'll need a powerful PC to run it.

What kind of Oculus should I get? ›

The Oculus Quest 2 is the best VR headset for most people, and has access to a ton of popular immersive games, fitness apps and entertainment experiences. However, before you buy, you'll have to decide how much free space you want for apps and games.

Is Oculus Quest 2 worth buying? ›

The $299 starting price makes this the most approachable high-quality VR headset on the market. To put things in perspective, the Quest 2 is a fraction of the price of premium VR headsets like the $799 HTC Vive Pro 2 or $999 Valve Index, both of which require you to have a powerful gaming PC.

Who is Oculus biggest competitor? ›

Oculus's competitors and similar companies include Unity Technologies, Niantic, HTC and Magic Leap.

Do I need a computer for Oculus Quest 2? ›

Best answer: No, the Oculus Quest 2 does not need a PC to operate. However, hooking it up to a PC will open an entire library of PC-only content. The Oculus Quest 2 was designed to be played on its own, anywhere, and at any time.

Is there anything better than Quest 2? ›

If you can swallow spending $1,000 more to avoid a Meta-branded gadget, the HTC Vive Focus 3 is the best standalone VR headset available. Its screen is higher resolution and has a wider field of view than the Meta Quest 2.

Is Oculus worth buying? ›

Lightweight, comfortable, and powerful enough to run impressively detailed virtual reality experiences, the Oculus Quest 2 is the best VR headset that Oculus has made so far. And, depending on your perspective on raw power versus portability and comfort, it might just be the best VR headset ever, too.

Can you take Oculus Quest 2 on a plane? ›

VR on a PLANE?? 10 Tips to play Oculus Quest 2 I learned ... - YouTube

How much is a pico headset? ›

The Pico 4, which will sell starting at €429 (around $425) in several European and Asian countries, is described as a reasonably full-featured but affordable option for games and passive entertainment.

Can you play beat Saber on Pico? ›

Pico 4 comes without the system seller Beat Saber, whose studio Beat Games Meta took over years ago. As a replacement, Pico is bringing Just Dance VR together with Ubisoft – the only exclusive title announced for the new VR headset so far. All other VR games are also available for Meta Quest 2.

Is Pico neo3 good? ›

At release, Pico Neo 3 Pro was an excellent VR headset for B2B use. It features quick setup, intuitive access to files and apps, no required login (except for the Pico App Store), great picture, and finally good VR controllers.

Is there a new Oculus coming out in 2022? ›

Oculus Quest 3 release date rumours

The Meta Quest Pro kicked off the company's next wave of VR headsets, but the Meta Quest 3 was nowhere to be seen at the Meta Connect 2022 event. It's unlikely we'll see any more news until Meta's 2023 Connect event.

What is the newest Oculus VR headset? ›

EXPERIENCE THE NEXT LEVEL OF WIRELESS VR

While Oculus Quest is no longer available, you can step into our most advanced all-in-one VR headset with Oculus Quest 2.

What is the new Oculus called? ›

The Oculus Quest 2 (now called the Meta Quest 2) has become a surprisingly successful virtual reality headset and remains our favorite VR device despite being two years old and more expensive: The hardware increased in price by $101 back in August -- the headset currently starts at $400.

Can you play beat Saber on Pico? ›

Pico 4 comes without the system seller Beat Saber, whose studio Beat Games Meta took over years ago. As a replacement, Pico is bringing Just Dance VR together with Ubisoft – the only exclusive title announced for the new VR headset so far. All other VR games are also available for Meta Quest 2.

How much is a pico headset? ›

The Pico 4, which will sell starting at €429 (around $425) in several European and Asian countries, is described as a reasonably full-featured but affordable option for games and passive entertainment.

What is Pico VR? ›

Pico's VR Headsets are designed to perform at the highest level of All-in-One (AIO) solutions for Enterprise. We build our products with the latest VR technology and create headsets which do away with the need for PC's, Phones or Wired connections.

Is Pico 4 coming out in the US? ›

CNET says that ByteDance has no plans to release Pico 4 in the U.S. in the future, but in 2023, it is launching an enterprise-targeted pro variant with eye tracking for the U.S. market.

How do I claim my free Beat Saber? ›

A copy of Beat Saber is included with every Meta Quest 2 purchase from any retailer starting 8/1/2022 until 12/31/2022.
...
Redeem your copy of Beat Saber on your Meta Quest 2:
  1. To begin, set up your Meta Quest 2 headset.
  2. If you're new to Meta Quest, a Meta account is required to use your device, apps and the app store.

What is the highest score on Beat Saber demo? ›

Collectively, both the swing angle before and after the cut contribute up to 100 points. The centrality of the cut contribute up to 15, meaning you can get a maximum of 115 point per note.

Is Beat Saber worth it? ›

For any new headset owner, Beat Saber remains an essential purchase. Even if the genre is not traditionally your style, the game holds such an esteemed place in VR history and remains completely relevant to modern audiences, exemplifying sublime gameplay that puts intelligent VR design first.

Who owns Pico VR? ›

The Pico 4 stand-alone virtual reality (VR) headset, launched by TikTok owner ByteDance last month, generated more than 46,000 online orders in China in the first 18 days, according to market intelligence firm Sandalwood Advisors.

Is Pico neo3 good? ›

At release, Pico Neo 3 Pro was an excellent VR headset for B2B use. It features quick setup, intuitive access to files and apps, no required login (except for the Pico App Store), great picture, and finally good VR controllers.

What does PICO stand for? ›

PICO stands for patient/population, intervention, comparison and outcomes. Patient/Population.

Is Pico 4 compatible with steam? ›

In September, Virtual Desktop's developer Guy Godin confirmed his app “will be available on the new Pico 4 as well as the Pico Neo 3. You'll be able to stream all your favorite SteamVR and Oculus games wirelessly.” Now it's actually available to purchase.

Where is PICO VR based? ›

Pico Interactive's headquarters is located at 4th Floor, Building 3, Qingdao Research Institute, Qingdao.

How much will the Quest Pro cost? ›

The new Meta Quest Pro also costs $1,499, which might come as the biggest surprise. This is not a headset that's accessible to most consumers, nor is VR in general far along enough to compel them to spend that much on a headset.

Who makes Pico 4? ›

The Pico 4 stand-alone virtual reality (VR) headset, which TikTok owner ByteDance launched two weeks ago, has proven popular among Chinese enthusiasts while the competing Quest 2 from Meta Platforms remains unavailable in the market.

Is Pico 4 region locked? ›

The Pico 4 is effectively region-locked, too. It's now on sale in Europe, having launched in China earlier this year, and will be heading to other territories soon, but a US launch seems unlikely.

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