TikTok Ban May Kill Meta Quest 2 VR Headset Competitor

A virtual reality headset poised to give Meta Quest 2 a run for its money may end up seeing its US release canceled if the TikTok ban goes forward. The recent debate over the social media platform is set to not only impact the way people use the internet, but it may also limit consumers’ choices in virtual reality headsets.


The Meta Quest 2 is unique in that it allows VR enthusiasts to play virtual reality games without being tethered to a PC or console. The Meta Quest 2 is beginning to show its age, and with the recent competition of the PS VR 2, fans have been eagerly awaiting a new Meta or a competitor’s headset with the same principles. While the Meta Quest 3 is slated to release sometime this year, a competitor is showing signs of hesitation regarding its release.

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The virtual reality headset in question here is the Pico 4, a standalone virtual reality headset that beats the Meta Quest 2 in several of its capabilities, and in other user aspects, like general comfort. The Pico 4 is already out in some regions of the world, but hasn’t come to North America. Fans eager to get their hands on the device were eagerly waiting March 22, as the device’s social media account was teasing a big announcement coming that day, presumed to be the reveal of the headset finally arriving in North America. However, that date came and went with nothing announced, and now news has come to light that the proposed TikTok ban is to blame.

According to a report on The Verge, the company behind the Pico 4 was all set to reveal its release date for the US, but canceled the reveal due to the current debate over TikTok. The parent company of TikTok, Bytedance, acquired Pico back in 2021, and according to the informant, the TikTok debate has led the company to hesitate on the reveal. Considering that TikTok could see itself banned outright in North America, it stands to reason that the company might not want to go forward with its plans to release a new VR headset in the country.

The ties between ByteDance and the Chinese government and concerns over how TikTok users’ information is shared may carry over to the Pico 4. The Pico 4 not only lets gamers play virtual reality games but also includes color passthrough, allowing users to easily view the world around them while they have the headset on. This is great for users, but lawmakers could end up expressing similar concerns over the technology as they have with TikTok. Although people openly share info and video over the internet like never before, some may hesitate with concern that their home, loved ones, or property might end up being viewed by a third party.

Whether or not that turns out to be a valid concern remains to be seen. However, if legislators decide to force the sale of TikTok or ban it outright in the US, it may not be worth it to ByteDance to try and sell a product in North America, both due to the risk of the current debate repeating itself, and from having its reputation besmirched. While there are other virtual reality headsets rumored to be in the works to challenge the Meta Quest 2, the Pico 4 might not be one of them, at least for those in the United States.

Source: The Verge

Source: Gamerant

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