Beijing VR firm Pico Interactive has announced the European launch of its standalone consumer headset, the Pico Neo 3 Link. Revealed at Laval Virtual 2022, the Neo 3 Link will launch in selected European markets such as Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands. Other European markets will follow at monthly intervals, including the UK in June.
Pico is taking an innovative approach to launching a new consumer VR product in Europe by opening product feedback to a dedicated community of virtual reality enthusiasts. According to Leland Hedges, General Manager of Pico Interactive in Europe, "We are democratising VR across Europe with local content and unique entertainment experiences. Pico will bring the joy of discovery and whimsy to VR by being a more open and more adventurous platform for creators, developers, and VR fanatics. If you are a true believer and you want to own a piece of VR history, come join the Pico beta program."
Priced at €449 (£372), pre-orders open on April 15th with key online partners: Bestware.com, XRShop, VRexpert, and Matts Digital, plus SystemActive in the UK one month later
The availability of Link for the beta community is strictly limited; only one VR headset per person can be ordered. Pre-orders will run until May 23rd or until supplies run out.
Unlike its more established rival, the dominant Oculus Quest 2, Pico is keen to promote its headset as '2-in-1 VR', aiming to offer the, "Best of PC VR and all-in-one headset".
Link, just awarded the prestigious 'Deutschland Favorit' award by SZ Institute and Statista, is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform and offers computing power for standalone VR headsets following industry benchmarks. With 6GB of RAM, 256GB of onboard storage and a 5.5-inch SFR TFT display with a resolution of 3,664 x 1,920 pixels, 773 PPI and a refresh rate of up to 90Hz, the new 6DoF headsets deliver a seamless VR experience even with computationally intensive games and apps.
The Link's DisplayPort output feature allows VR content to be displayed on a monitor with an appropriate DisplayPort adapter - the DP cable is included with Link. In addition, Link features excellent connectivity via Wi-Fi 6 and wireless PC-based VR streaming. As hygiene safety is paramount, the replaceable, PU face pad with antifouling coating is easy to clean and sterilize.
The 6DoF controllers use 32 optical tracking sensors for positioning in complex environments. Combined with four wide-angle cameras that allow the headset to position and track with millimeter accuracy, stable tracking can be achieved even in low-texture environments with light or dark settings. The button layout makes it easier to switch to Link from other VR HMDs, as gamers can stick to their favourite button layouts and not have to change.
In Asia, Pico is already the leading provider of consumer VR headsets in China and will bring the beta program to new markets such as Japan and Korea. Pico will target VR fans and gamers with its new Link headset; users will participate in a unique beta program where feedback informs future product development.
Users will have access to the vast majority of VR-compatible titles on SteamVR and to over 200 6 DoF (Degrees of Freedom) VR apps in the Pico Store. Popular 6 DoF games in the Pico Store currently include Superhot VR, Puzzling Places, After the Fall, Walkabout Mini Golf, Elven Table Tennis, and Demeo.