The Pico Neo is a dumb VR headset with a sensible controller

The Pico Neo is a dumb VR headset with a smart controller

We’re nonetheless unsure what the way forward for VR seems like. Oculus, HTC and Valve are specializing in methods based mostly round highly effective gaming PCs. Sony will use its PlayStation four as a standardized base for PSVR. Samsung needs you to fit a flagship telephone in entrance of your eyes. Chinese language firm Pico has a special concept. Its Pico Neo is an all-in-one system that gives an Oculus-like headset, however will get all of its computing energy from a controller.

Inside that controller is a chip you’d discover inside a flagship many smartphones: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC. Meaning you are getting a quad-core 2.2GHz CPU, an Adreno 530 GPU and a Hexagon 680 DSP. That is paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (expandable by MicroSD).

The headset itself has a pair of 1,200 x 1,080 panels (one for every eye), which matches the decision of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. These panels refresh at 90Hz; on pare with the Vive and Rift, however slower than PSVR, and 102-diploma subject of view — lower than the Vive and Rift, however greater than PSVR. Whereas specs do not inform you a lot a few gadget’s high quality, on paper the Neo matches up with its contemporaries.

This all sounds fairly good to date. However you then take a look at the controller itself. It is… fairly simplistic, providing a SNES-like format with a D-pad, 4 motion buttons and a pair of shoulder bumpers. Pico has added just a little extra flexibility with the tremendous profitable backtouch function from the Vita, and in addition motion sensors, however the choice to not embrace analog thumbsticks is unusual given VR experiences are virtually universally in three dimensions.

The Pico Neo is a dumb VR headset with a smart controller

There are analogs on the non-compulsory add-on TrackingKit and Beacon, which look like a straight clone of Sony’s PlayStation Digital camera and Transfer controllers. It isn’t clear the place you are imagined to stash the controller with the processing energy inside when you’re holding onto them.

One benefit the Pico Neo has over the Vive, Oculus and PSVR is freedom of motion: with a 5000mAh battery inside, you possibly can apparently get three hours of gaming or video playback untethered, after which you should use a Fast Cost charger to prime up.

One drawback it has is compatibility. The Pico Neo is unlikely to see widespread help. It is based mostly on Android, so that you’d anticipate an inexpensive quantity of video games might be performed, however it’s not clear if head monitoring or controller help would require further coding from builders. Pico says you may also simply plug the headset right into a PC to play extra video games, however help there additionally appears questionable — and it sort of negates the primary promoting level of the Neo within the first place.

The Neo Pico will launch this summer time for three,399 Yuan ($525) with controller and headset, or 1.899 Yuan ($295) in the event you simply need the headset to make use of with a PC. We will not think about many players are going to be dissuaded from their Rift, Vive and PSVR headsets by the proposition, nevertheless it’s an fascinating concept that we’d see carried out by different corporations quickly.