After months of rumors and leaks, the ByteDance-owned XR Pico brand has finally revealed its latest VR headsets, including the next-gen Pico 4 Pro.
From Project Cambria to the entry-level Pico 4’s Oculus Quest 2, the Pico 4 Pro model promises to offer developers, businesses and regular users a premium VR experience that’s in addition to everything that Pico currently offers (opens in new tab).
According to Pico, the Pico 4 Pro VR headset (which looks a lot like the Pico 4) will deliver on its high-end experience promise using updated specs compared to its base model. Chief among these improvements are the three infrared cameras inside the headset that can track eye movements.
As we’ve seen in our experience using PlayStation VR 2 to play Horizon Call of the Mountain, eye tracking can help make VR experiences much more immersive – as NPCs can react to where you’re looking and even make eye contact with you .
Developers creating games for Pico 4 and PlayStation VR 2 (as well as Project Cambria, which will also use eye tracking, according to Meta) can also use eye tracking to facilitate the foveated rendering that should make for more impressive games without needing to more power (and heavier) hardware.
As the developers of Moss: Book 2 explained to us, this works by reducing processing power used by parts of the world the player isn’t looking at – blurring or not rendering – and focusing on the areas players are looking at. If done correctly, the player won’t notice anything, except that the world is much more detailed and more expansive than traditional VR games.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a little longer before we have the Pico 4 Pro in our hands (assuming it launches in the UK, US and Australia after the base model snubbed the latter two).
Pico’s September announcement was primarily focused on the base Pico 4, with just a few sentences dedicated to the updated model. We haven’t even received a price or release date for the Pro. Instead, Pico tells us we’ll have to tune in to his AWE Lisbon performance in October – with the event taking place on October 20th and 21st.
With Project Cambria (allegedly called Meta Quest Pro) set to be revealed in early October at Meta Connect 2022, it’s shaping up to be a busy month for VR. By the end of 2023, our list of the best VR headsets might look very different.