Virtual reality has never been so close to impressing

It is the accessory of gaming par excellence. But not only. With its autonomous Pico 4 virtual reality headset tested by 20 minutesthe Chinese manufacturer Pico (owned by ByteDance, at the head of TikTok) testifies to the incredible field of action offered by a VR headset which is moreover relatively complete and economical.

Well thought out ergonomics

When we talk about VR headset, we necessarily think of HTC and its Vive range (like the Vive Pro, sold for 509 euros), but even more so of Meta with its Meta Quest 2 (sold for 449 euros). Alternative, with the Pico 4. To spend a little less (429 euros) while having an exciting and complete virtual reality experience, this new helmet has very serious arguments.

The Pico 4 virtual reality headset. – Pico

On the head, it is light (584 g) but above all very balanced. With its 5,300 mAh battery placed at the back, the Pico 4 does not weigh down the front of the skull and allows fairly long sessions without real discomfort. A small accessory to add to it even allows it to be used with glasses. Once turned on, all that remains is to create an account (which will allow access to free content, but also to buy it), to create your avatar, to define your play area with its virtual walls, and to dive into the world of VR.

To perfect the experience, in a few seconds you can perfectly adapt the vision to your sight for perfect sharpness. That of the Pico 4 has two LCD screens with a definition of 2,160 x 2,160 pixels for each eye. This is more than the Meta Quest, whose definition is 1,834 x 1,920 pixels. For its part, the HTC Vive Pro still does better, with 2,880 x 1,600 pixels, but above all AMOLED screens.

Two loudspeakers, located on the branches of the helmet, broadcast a sound powerful enough for the experience to be very immersive. As for the controllers, their ergonomics are perfect, the two arches surmounting them to avoid clashing them during a game or a sports session that is a little too animated.

A stunning playground

Still, we are immediately amazed by what we see. First, the Pico 4 offers a so-called “pass through” view which allows, especially when putting on the headset, to see the room in which you are and to perfectly define your playing field. There are also upcoming applications that will use this possibility which allows to evolve in mixed reality.

Controllers in hand (the equivalent of joysticks), it is easy to navigate through the menus displayed in one of the three virtual settings offered (choice of: home cinema room, Imax room and beach). Each controller has a beam with which it is enough to point the desired icon to launch its content.

Bungee jumping over Manhattan

And of course, we want to try everything. For our tests, we bravely bungee jumped from a helicopter above New York (vomit!); we discovered the big Bang through a (fascinating!) documentary; we are taken for a Ninja master with Cooking Simulator (sharp!); we played Afterlife (scary!), we were even able to binge series on AppleTV+, Disney+ and Paramount+ in front of a virtual screen in a deserted, but cozy movie theater setting.

And we finally tried to burn some calories with the sports program Mills Body Combat (sweating). Free or paid content, passive (even contemplative), or active, there is something for everyone, for all ages and for all tastes. By connecting your smartphone to the helmet through the Pico application, it is even possible to record videos of all your exploits and share them. Can also stream our experiences on a connected TV or computer screen.

The Pico 4 virtual reality headset offers access to countless content.
The Pico 4 virtual reality headset offers access to countless content. -Pico

Due to the Asian origin of the headphones, there are also a host of small clips where dolled-up young women dance, play the guitar… We thus came across Girlfriends cooking with lovemini-clips with which we can have a virtual breakfast alone (and in all honor and honor!) with a young lady who slips strawberries into our mouths and tells us that we are “a bad boy “…

The application store as the sinews of war

There remains the rather exceptional potential of such equipment. Sold for 429 euros in 128 GB (499 euros in 256 GB) – the price of a mid-range smartphone – the Pico 4 opens up the field of possibilities for countless entertainment. We want more!

We are thinking more broadly of all the everyday professional applications that virtual reality is about to offer. And we can imagine that video and VR meetings are likely to boost teleworking. One condition for this: to be able to participate with a real or holographic view of the participants, and no longer with an avatar (as with the Meeting VR application).

This will undoubtedly be the sinews of war for the manufacturers of these helmets: in addition to the on-board technology, they will have to offer blinds well stocked and diverse. Even if that of Pico is not as extensive as that of Meta (especially for the game), it grows visibly and there is something to satisfy all appetites. With, each time, this “wow” effect that is instantaneous.

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