Chinese media Jiemian has learned on Friday that ByteDance has cancelled the release of the next-generation VR headset PICO 5, and will instead launch an updated version of PICO 4 next year.
In early November, PICO carried out a large-scale lay-off. After the adjustment, PICO will primarily focus on hardware and core technology. The PICO mobile OS team will be integrated into ByteDance’s product R&D and engineering architecture platform to strengthen the investment and unified management of OS core technology research and development.
It is understood that ByteDance’s cancellation of the PICO 5 release is related to the lower than expected sales of PICO 4. Last year, PICO launched the consumer-grade VR new product PICO 4 Pro with high profile, not only in the domestic market, but also in overseas markets such as Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. In order to boost hardware sales, PICO 4 significantly lowered the product price, at the price of losing about 500 yuan for each device sold. However, the low-price strategy did not help PICO 4 achieve the expected sales.
Insiders also revealed that PICO has retained the long-term mixed-reality (MR) Swan project. The project draws some inspiration from Apple’s Vision Pro headset, which will be released early next year. It is currently at the conceptual product stage, and the possibility of becoming a commercially viable product in the short term is not high.
Previously, PICO CEO Zhou Hongwei explained the reason for the layoff in an internal speech, “The VR industry is currently in a very early stage. We were previously more optimistic about the development of the industry and the market, but in fact, it did not grow as fast as expected.”
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