Pico Interactive’s latest Virtual Reality (VR) Immersion console the Pico Neo 3 is an impressive competitor to Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2. Targeted for the Asian consumer market, the VR headset also comes in a Pro version for the West.
China-based VR hardware firm, Pico Interactive, following protected pre-launch marketing, brought the third edition of their Pico Neo 3 VR headset model to market earlier this year. Launching a consumer version of the Pico Neo 3 for the Chinese market towards the back-end of the third quarter, the VR company sought to corner a consumer market, starved of Facebook’s Oculus line of VR goggles.
Owing to the fact that the Oculus 2 device is not available to Chinese consumers, on the back of a government ban on Facebook, Pico Interactive have moved to provide a staple VR device for the Chinese consumer. A Pro version of the Neo 3 has also been made available. Targeted at Western markets, Pico Interactive’s Pico Neo 3 Pro, is designed to serve professional and enterprise needs.
Pico Neo 3 specifications
Launched on the 10th of May, the Pico Neo 3, as well as the Pico Neo Pro 3 came in at a consumer-friendly price point; $420 and $467 for the 128GB, and 256GB versions of the consumer headset, while the Pro (to launch In 3rd quarter of 2021) is currently going for the pre-order price of $699.
Aside from the differences in hard drive space, the consumer versions of the Neo 3 are technically similar. It does a lot to measure up to the Oculus Quest 2, offering a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, along with a 4k low-persistence 90Hz curved display with 3664 x 1920 resolution, allowing a 98° field of view.
Both headsets offer 6GB RAM (running at 2133 Mhz,) Wi-Fi 6 and USB-C 3 connectivity, 3 Physical IPD adjustments, Optical Positional tracking aided by four tracking cameras (which boast 400×400 resolution and run at 120Hz Maximum, and 10m x 10m area to tracking, along with and millimeter-precision accuracy,) Optically Tracked Controllers, with 32 tracking points.
5300 mAh battery, for around 2.5, to 3 hours of non-stop use. Integrated audio, with 3.5mm jack to allow for the connection of external headphones, Wi-fi streaming or tethered streaming to SteamVR integrated in the runtime. The Pico VR headset runs on an Android 10 operating system, equipped with Pico SDK for development.
Compared To The Oculus 2
The Pico Neo 2 is quite an impressive device. In comparison to the Oculus Quest with regard to key technical specifications. Like the Neo 2, the Oculus packs a Snapdragon XR2 chip platform, along with 6 GB of RAM.
The Oculus, appears to be targeted at more consumer segments, as it comes in 64 GB, 128 GB, as well as in a 256 GB variant. The Oculus’s display delivers 1832×1920 of resolution, at a refresh rate of 72Hz, while a 90Hz upgrade is still in the works.
The Oculus requires a minimum of 6.5 x 6.5 feet (about 1.98 meters) of room for it’s sensors to work their magic, which is trumped by Neo3. The Oculus 2 also sports adjustable IPD with three settings for 58, 63 and 68mm, similar to the Chinese competitor.
The Neo 3 Pro
Aimed at professional, and commercial users, the Pro version is aimed at the European, and US markets, where the firm already has a well established market. With the Neo 3 regular, the firm has pretty-much locked the Asian consumer market, but the Neo 3 Pro is Pico Interactive’s foothold into Western markets.
Priced at nearly $700, the Neo 3 Pro, only comes with a 256 GB hard drive, but comes with upgraded RAM of 8 GB. The Pico Neo 3 Pro Eye – set to price at $899 – also comes with Pico Interactive’s patent Tobii eye-tracking system. With two Pro devices are sold by a, globally dispersed, sales team, which affords the product an air of exclusivity.
All-in-all, the Pico Neo 3 line offers a decent alternative to the better-known Oculus, Vive, and HP VR hardware offerings. Whether for professional, or entertainment purposes, the Asian brand more than holds its own against the more established products.