• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Pico Takes On Meta in Battle for Virtual-Reality Market


NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

ByteDance Ltd., the China-based owner of TikTok, is starting to snare market share in the virtual-reality headset space that Meta Platforms Inc. META 3.03% has identified as critical to its future.

Two years ago, ByteDance bought Pico, a Chinese startup that makes VR headsets. That launched a new front in the Chinese company’s competition with Meta, META 3.03% whose Instagram and Facebook services have been battling for users and advertising dollars against TikTok as the short-video app soared in popularity.

Pico’s headset shipments have since jumped, turning it into a small but fast-rising No. 2 to Meta in the global market, according to industry data, even though Pico doesn’t sell its consumer headsets in the U.S.

Mark Zuckerberg in 2021 renamed Facebook to Meta in part to reflect his bet on the metaverse, a more immersive version of the internet to be experienced largely through virtual-reality headsets.

The company has been spending heavily on that concept. In its latest quarterly results, Meta said there were more than 200 apps on its VR devices that have generated over $1 million each in sales, although total revenue in Meta’s Reality Labs segment was down 17% in the quarter due to lower Quest 2 headset sales.

Meta held 90% of the market share about a year ago, according to research firm International Data Corp. By the third quarter of 2022—the latest period for which data is available—its market share had dropped to about 75%. Market share for Pico more than tripled over the same period to about 15%. No other VR headset maker held more than 3% of the market.

Meta’s headset shipments in the third quarter declined 48% from a year earlier, IDC’s data shows. ByteDance’s Pico was the only headset maker to increase shipments, in a market that was estimated to be worth $4 billion as of 2022.

“We’re glad consumers have more ways to experience VR, because when they do, it helps fuel the ecosystem, which in turn encourages developers to create more great content,” a spokeswoman for Meta said.

ByteDance declined to comment for this article.


I used to be very excited about VR. I still think it has huge potential both in the gaming industry and outside of it.
But nothing has killed my enthusiasm more than corprate giants trying to push a product that is worse in almost every way than what indie developers have been making for years and try to get us excited that they'll nickel and dime us every step of the way.
Top Bottom