A recent rumor, which alleged that TikTok parent company ByteDance is slated to spin down its XR hardware subsidiary Pico Interactive, is false, the company says.
China-based publication EqualOcean reported late last week that ByteDance is set to “gradually abandon the PICO business.”
The report alleged the person in charge of Pico recently went to Singapore to report to ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming, maintaining Pico’s performance in the past few years has “not met expectations, and there is no hope for the future.”
ByteDance has since disavowed the report, telling China’s Financial Associated Press (Chinese) the news was “untrue,” and that “PICO is operating normally and the company will invest in XR business in the long term.”
Founded in 2015 and later acquired by ByteDance in 2021, Pico Interactive has created a number of standalone VR headsets over the years. Its most recent of which, Pico 4, was released in 2022 as an apparent competitor to Meta’s Quest 2.
While priced competitively and available for purchase in most of Europe and a number of countries in Asia, the €429 (~$450) Pico 4 still hasn’t made its long-awaited debut in the United States where it would more directly compete with Quest 2 or Meta’s latest, Quest 3. Meanwhile, Pico has made a concerted effort in those regions to bring a majority of Quest’s top apps to Pico 4.
Back in February, Pico began a round of layoffs that at the time were reported to be in the hundreds. Responding to that report, the company maintained it would only be a “small number of colleagues.”
Thanks to Cix Liv for pointing us to the news.