PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – which VR headset should you go for?

PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – which VR headset should you go for?
Romilly Cotta Updated on by

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If you’re wondering what the differences are between PSVR 2 vs Pico 4, then keep reading.

Sony’s PSVR 2 headset will be released today, ushering in the next generation of VR gaming headsets. It comes as the successor to the PSVR, and there has been considerable hype around its updated features. If you’re interested in whether this hype is deserved, check out our comprehensive review of PSVR 2.

Indeed, we’ve already pitted PSVR 2 vs PSVR as we consider whether PlayStation’s latest headset is worth it. Long story short, it probably is, and the excitement only climbs with the recent announcement that Grand Turismo 7 is being added to the growing list of PS games that will be compatible with PSVR 2.

And what about Pico 4? Our alternative VR headset, owned by Tech Giant ByteDance was released in October 2022. Pico 4 similarly boasts a large library of games available in the Pico store including the popular Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, plus a number of free games. It’s received a generally positive reception, so we’re interested to see how it compares to PSVR 2.

You may be weighing up which VR headset to go for, and how it matches what you want out of your VR experience. Whether you’re interested in 3D art, VR gaming, or looking for a real cinematic experience at home, there’s no shortage of reasons to buy a VR headset.

With these uses in mind, we’re going to make things a little easier for you. We’ll be comparing the key features of PSVR 2 and Pico 4. We’ll consider specs, design, performance, and overall value for money so you can make an informed choice.

So, let’s jump to it! Here are the differences and similarities between PSVR 2 and Pico 4.

PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – Specs

SpecificationsPSVR 2 Pico 4
ProcessorCustom 7nm AMD Zen 2 CPUQualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Passthrough camerasNo High-resolution cameras with color passthrough (16MP)
ScreenHDR OLED panelsDual LCD panels
Resolution4000 x 2040 max resolution
(2000 x 2040 per eye)
4320 x 2160 max resolution (2,160 x 2,160 per eye)
LensesFresnel lensesPancake lenses (Thinner)
TrackingFour external cameras for Inside/Out TrackingFive external cameras for Inside/Out Tracking
Refresh Rate90Hz / 120Hz72Hz / 90Hz
Field of View110 degrees105° Horizontal
105° Vertical
IPD adjustmentAdjustable lens separation62-72mm (Automatic)
BatteryPowered by cable5300mAh
2-3 hours
20W charging
RAM512MB DDR4 RAM (Shared with PS5)8GB LPDDR4
Storage826GB (Shared with PS5) 128GB, 256GB
Eye and face trackingOnly eye trackingNo

As you can see from the above table, there are a number of key differences between these two headsets which we’ll discuss.

Let’s start with screen panels. Sony has opted for HDR OLED panels made by Samsung, enabling a richer VR experience. The 4000 x 2040 max resolution features a VR mode and Cinematic Mode, meaning users can enjoy a vivid image thanks to the high pixel count and density. You’ll notice that Pico 4 has a marginally higher max resolution at 4320 x 2160 and uses Dual LCD panels. Though the higher resolution might be a technical win for Pico 4, it is less noticeable in practice.

At least in the display domain, both VR headsets are fairly evenly matched.

Read More: Best GPU for VR – our top picks

That being said, PSVR 2 lucks out with a higher refresh rate, meaning you’ll get a cleaner and smoother image by opting for Sony’s headset. We’ll discuss this refresh rate in a little more depth when we discuss gaming, but overall, we’d recommend PSVR 2 so long as you have the horsepower to drive the required frames.

Pico 4 potentially has the advantage of 2-3 hours of wireless play whereas PSVR 2 is reliant on a wired connection. It’s understandable why Sony has chosen not to start with a wireless model for PSVR 2, though it’s a shame they haven’t included the option of wireless play.

PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – touch controllers

Both controllers feature a similar curved design, featuring a joystick, trigger, and grab button on each side.

PSVR 2 uses Bluetooth controllers that boast a high quality, ergonomic design. They feature chargeable Lithiumion batteries with USB Type-C, combined with variable resistance triggers and haptic feedback.

Read More: DualSense Edge review – how is Sony’s first Pro Controller?

Pico 4’s touch controllers similarly feature haptic feedback, though we’re disappointed that they use disposable AA batteries. Although the Pico 4 will cost less than the PSVR 2, you should consider the cost of replacing batteries over time.

PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – gaming

Although yet to be released, PSVR 2 feels like a huge leap for VR gaming. Expect titles like Horizon: Call of the Mountain, No Man’s Sky and Resident Evil. With a refresh rate capable of reaching 120Hz, combined with Samsung’s 4K OLED screen, we’re seriously impressed with PSVR 2’s performance.

Unfortunately, Sony has decided to exclude any backward compatibility for the PSVR 2. You won’t be able to play any of the games that you could on PSVR as PlayStation is aiming to isolate the new PSVR 2 from the newer games that are designed for next generation VR gaming. This is an important consideration to make if buying the PSVR 2 headset is already costing you an arm and a leg.

Read More: Best GPU for Hogwarts Legacy – our top picks

Pico 4 conveniently connects to your PC, allowing you to access a whole library of Steam VR games, something PSVR 2 does not have access to. Pico 4 also boasts its own library of games, meaning you don’t need a PC or console to enjoy VR gaming. Though its 90Hz refresh rate isn’t quite on par with PSVR 2, it does a decent job of providing a pretty decent VR gaming experience.

PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – features

One of the standout differences between the two headsets has to be Pico’s lack of eye and face tracking.

PSVR 2 seriously takes the win here. Eye tracking basically enables ‘foveated rendering’, meaning only the elements of the environment that are looked at are rendered. This means PSVR 2 will deliver more immersive VR experiences since virtual avatars can read more than just body language. It opens up the possibilities of truly terrifying gaming experiences, especially when you combine it with haptic feedback.

PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – price

There are a number of caveats to consider when it comes to exploring the buying options for both PSVR 2 and Pico 4.

If you haven’t already realized, you need to own a PS5 to use PSVR 2, since it connects directly to the console to share its CPU, RAM, and storage. This means that if you don’t already have a PS5, you’ll be paying a large startup cost of around $500. This will come as a blow to some, though if you already own a PS5, the blow is slightly less.

We’ve covered where you can buy PSVR 2 and can report that it will cost $549.99 / €599.99 / £529.99 / ¥74,980.

Read More: Best monitor for Microsoft Flight Simulator – our top picks

And what about Pico 4? Well, the bad news is that ByteDance has not entered the US market, meaning it’s currently unavailable if you’re based in the US. So far, you can buy it in Europe and East Asia.

If you’re based in the UK, you can cop the Pico 4 via Amazon for £376, making it considerably cheaper than PSVR 2. Because of this, we’re recommending Pico 4 as the better option for those on a tighter budget who still want to experience the world of VR.

Final word

Overall, it looks like the usual toss-up between price and performance.

Unless you already own a PS5, you’ll be spending upwards of a grand to get PSVR 2 up and running. You’ll also have to factor in additional costs, like paying for VR titles.

We highly recommend Pico 4 for the value it offers as a lightweight, 4K headset. Although we think users will find better long term value in PSVR 2, Pico 4 remains a great VR headset in 2023 for the price.