Pico 4 controllers appear in leaked images, revealing new ergonomic design – Road to VR

ByteDance’s Pico Interactive is gearing up to launch a new line of standalone VR headsets that soon seek to compete with Meta, dubbed the Pico 4 and Pico 4 Pro. Now, a leak has reportedly revealed the Pico 4’s controllers, and they appear to be a significant step forward in terms of ergonomics.

The news comes courtesy of Antony Vitillo, AR/VR developer and publisher at SkarredGhost, who received the controller footage from a community member after initially covering the FCC filing for Pico 4 that surfaced late last month. The images appear to be marketing material, or possibly late internal photos of actual devices.

Here you can see the button layout, which is very similar to Quest’s, including a trigger, joystick, and AB buttons. So much is standard in VR controllers these days, although Pico seems to be changing the formula a bit.

Image courtesy of SkarredGhost

Provided the images are representative of the actual device, it also appears that Pico 4 will optically track its controllers through the inclusion of an infrared tracking ring.

Unlike Quest however, the ring has more of a diagonal design that connects from the top to the base of the device. Here we get a better look at the overall design and additional buttons, including grip triggers and dual system buttons.

Image courtesy of SkarredGhost

As Vitillo mentions in the SkarredGhost Proprietary, previous Pico controllers were much more wand-like and focused heavily on function rather than form.

Moving the ring from Quest’s horizontal orientation to a more vertical orientation can provide better balance to the controller and can also help users better differentiate when grabbed blindly. Its smoother curves on the controller face also seem less sharp compared to Quest’s controllers.

Pico Neo 3 (left) and Neo 2 (right) controllers | Image courtesy VR Expert

It’s unclear when Pico plans to launch the device, though allegedly leaked images and the very real FCC filing suggest it’s pretty close.

Some healthy speculation: The specs of the Pico 4 and Pico 4 Pro would be identical, but the Pico 4 Pro includes eye and face tracking, which may position the latter to better compete with Meta’s upcoming Cambria project, or what which could be called ‘Quest Pro’. Project Cambria is expected to arrive this year, so time is running out.

Pico 4 headset, image courtesy of the FCC

And Pico probably also has high hopes for the Pico 4, its first consumer headset coming to Meta’s North American grounds. Now that Meta has hiked the price of Quest 2 by $100, bringing its base 128GB model to $400 and 256GB to $500, it may be in pretty good shape to finally make inroads there. After all, Meta’s plans for the near future so far include raising Quest’s prices to help avoid rising hardware costs and selling Project Cambria at “significantly above” $800. , which could leave the lower to mid range open for Pico.

Of course, the missing piece of the puzzle with virtual reality is almost always content. Owned by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, Pico has been in full hiring to fill positions related to the company’s AR/VR content producer, Pico Studios.

Provided the company can attract more developers to help fill out its library of games, we could see the first real competitor against Meta, which until now has owned the standalone consumer space outside of China thanks to its deep pockets and early market dynamics. pioneer of PC VR headsets.