If you own a Meta Quest 2 then it’s likely you’ve come across App Lab at some point. An alternative distribution method for VR developers that’s not as stringent, it’s also harder to find games. Meta rival Pico – owned by TikTok creator Bytedance – has now launched its own App Lab rival, Pico Lab.
Pico Lab functions in the same sort of way as App Lab. Developers submit their games and apps for approval but the standards are lower than the main Pico Store. This is great for creators looking to get community feedback on their projects ahead of an official launch. There is one big difference between the two distribution methods, however. Pico Lab games are entirely free, there’s no way for developers to monetise their games there. That includes in-app purchases.
This makes Pico Lab the perfect place to go for new Pico owners looking for content. Supporting headsets like Pico 4, Pico Lab should make it far easier for creators to get their games in front of a new audience, with submission parameters detailed here.
However, the one aspect Pico hasn’t revealed is how accessible these titles will be. App Lab requires either a URL or the exact game name to be searched and you’ll find the App Lab listing way at the bottom of the list. It’s currently unknown if Pico Lab will be this convoluted or a more refined process.
Currently, the company’s latest headset – and Quest 2 rival – Pico 4 isn’t sold worldwide. Whilst territories like China and Europe are covered, most notably North America isn’t. Pico has said it plans to release the headset in the US and Canada, but nine months after launch that still hasn’t happened.
The Pico 4 comes in 128GB and 256GB models that are now more expensive than Quest due to its recent price reduction. Even so, Pico 4 boasts a lighter design and slimmer form factor than its rival – without straps it is 295g, Quest 2 is 470g. The headset also has a wider field of view, approximately 105-degree when compared to Quest 2’s 96-degree (both horizontal).
What the headset has struggled with more is content. While you can connect PICO 4 to a PC for Steam gaming, the main Pico Store needs more games. They are slowly coming so the arrival of Pico Lab should help in that endeavour.
Have you tried any of Pico’s headsets? Do you think App Lab rival Pico Lab is a good idea? Let us know your thoughts.