The new PICO 4 VR headset rivals the Quest 2 from Meta. (PICO)

PICO and Meta Rivalry Heats Up

In this week’s roundup, the PICO and Meta rivalry heats up, the Fed proposes a central bank digital currency, Zilliqa unveils its Web3 console and more.

An Eye on the Charts

After major tokens took a nosedive last week, they have begun to recover in a series of ups-and-downs, with BTC and ETH ending the week on an up-trend. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this is the end of the bear market or even that the bottom is in. BTC is down almost 5% on the week, and ETH is down around 10%.

The week’s unexpected hero? Ripple (XRP) has been on a major upswing, seeing nearly 50% gain on the week. Keep in mind that XRP has a lower initial price, so we’re talking about cents worth of movement, not hundreds or thousands of dollars. Still, the movement has people talking – and it’s nice to see one green line in those charts.

More Government in Crypto?

Recent crypto drops were likely spurred, in part, by the Fed considering which coins potentially constitute unregulated securities as well as publishing a report on a proposed central bank digital currency. This week, government stayed in the crypto headlines through a draft bill that would ban stablecoins for at least two years.

Like most government cryptocurrency legislation, the bill is supposedly about consumer protection — this following the crash of the Tera stablecoin that many believe caused larger market instability this summer. However, all cryptocurrency legislation exists in the shadow of the rumored CBDC.

 PICO Announces 4th Gen Headset

PICO officially announced the Pico 4 headset. The headset is widely received as being better tech at a lower cost even than the Quest 2. The announcement, which snuck up on many who expected the announcement to come later, closer to Meta Connect, showcases a slim, lightweight, stand-alone headset geared principally toward gaming.

If this surprises readers, keep in mind that the announcement was physically based in Berlin and the headset is currently only available in Europe where PICO has a consumer market. PICO exists in the U.S. in Enterprise but has yet to roll out consumer support. It could well be that PICO 4 was the opportunity that they were waiting for, but the company is currently silent on that matter.

What about Meta?

The PICO announcement has been the main driver of conversation about Meta. Next month’s Connect event is expected to see the announcement of the “Quest Pro” — the final version of the Cambria project that Meta has been talking about for the last year.

The rumor mill was in full swing last week when a hotel employee supposedly found a Quest Pro in a room and posted a now removed unboxing video. Some speculate that the video was a hoax, others suggest that it was staged by Meta to keep excitement high. In any case, we probably know all that we’re going to about the Quest Pro until Meta goes on record on October 11.

More Virtual Worlds

Hardware developments aside, this has been a big week for virtual infrastructure and destinations. Not to keep going on about a potential feud, but late last week Meta announced personal spaces in Horizon Worlds and this week Pico teased “Pico Worlds”.

Elsewhere in the metaverse, Varjo’s VR lab shared notes on an XR demo using their headsets and MetaHumans to create mixed reality avatar interactions. Also, Niantic released their Lightship VPS for web applications, The WWF partnered with Ready Player Me on VR for good, and Nvidia announced Omniverse, their new metaverse platform.

A Web3 Console?

Zilliqa, a group with its own layer1 blockchain and supported virtual worlds, unveiled a prototype “Web3 Console.” Set to launch next year, there’s a lot that we still don’t know about the device beyond that it supposedly houses its own crypto wallet and mining rig. The console is heavily focused around streamlining play-to-earn blockchain experiences.