Wondering whether you should pick up a Pico 4 or Meta Quest 2 VR headset? We’ve lined up both headsets to let you know which one to pick up.
While Pico’s recent layoffs may concern some VR fanatics, the company is still going strong, with its own dedicated VR headset. This is in direct competition with the incredibly popular Meta-owned Quest 2. The Pico 4 features a lot of what makes the Quest 2 so good, including being an all-in-one device with optional PC connectivity. But, one question is on everyone’s lips: Which headset is better?
- Meta Quest 2 price: $399.99 (128GB), $499.99 (256GB)
- Pico 4 price: £379 (128GB), £449 (256GB)
The Pico 4 isn’t available in the US right now. Though, the price tells us that both headsets are around the same. The question then becomes which one has better hardware.
Competing headsets with wildly similar specs? Who would have guessed it? Where the Pico 4 beats out the Meta Quest 2 is in its pixel fidelity. Each lens is 2160×2160 versus the rather compressed 1832×1920 on the Quest 2.
While you’ll get a better viewing experience, the refresh rate doesn’t match up, with the Quest 2’s maximum 120Hz experimental mode beating out the paltry 90Hz of the Pico 4. This could lead to some people feeling queasy if they’re used to the maximum of 120Hz on the Quest 2.
Both headsets appear to be fairly bulky, with the Pico 4 being slightly heavier than the Quest 2. Though, we much prefer the design of the Pico 4 headset over Meta’s incredibly popular option.
The Pico 4 is more likely to be slightly more comfortable too, as it uses Pancake lenses, an option that’s becoming increasingly popular among VR headsets. PSVR2, take note. With nearly identical specifications, it can be tough to definitively decide which headset is better, because the duo trades blows. Ultimately, we’re settling on the Pico 4 over the Quest 2, as the lenses offer a far greater field of view, coming in at 105 degrees, compared to the narrower 89 degrees on the Quest 2.
Gaming is where the Pico 4 might falter. Meta has worked on the Quest ecosystem for the past few years. This gives them a sizeable advantage over almost every other VR headset on the market right now. Games are either locked behind exclusivity contracts or have just never made it onto other storefronts.
Looking at the Pico 4’s current applications, especially when it comes to gaming, leaves a lot to be desired. With no exclusive titles to showcase the hardware and a lot of older games, it’s not exactly the best choice for those looking to get into VR.
There’s also the lingering issue of the Pico 4 not being available in the United States. A lot of VR development is based in the US or relies on the States to bring home the bacon. No audience means no games.
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Though, depending on your needs, both the Pico 4 and Meta Quest 2 actually provide a decent, budget alternative to a lot of PC-only headsets. Again, an issue with them is the limited feature set and relatively low power.
While both headsets provide the same functionality, you’re going to be beaming in a compressed image directly to your headset over USB-C. This is fine for budget VR gaming, but not something pleasant to look at for long gaming sessions.
Which one should you buy?
It’s a tough question to answer, but the one headset get right now is the Meta Quest 2.
The main issue with recommending the Meta Quest 2 is that it’s getting closer to the apparent release of the Quest 3. With it expected this year, neither the Pico 4 nor Quest 2 are good purchases to make right now.
It makes it even tougher since the Pico 4 isn’t actively available in America, and has to be imported. With its slim software selection and lack of access, we also can’t recommend the Pico 4 over the Quest 2.
If you’re desperate for a VR headset in 2023, and your choices are the Pico 4 or Quest 2, you should go for the Quest 2. However, you might also want to consider the Meta Quest Pro or even the PSVR 2.
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