Pico 4 gets a Beat Saber clone, but only in China
Meta acquired Beat Saber studio Beat Games almost exactly three years ago, securing the opportunity to offer Beat Saber exclusively for its VR headsets. That doesn't work for China.
The VR game remained on non-Meta platforms like Steam and Playstation VR after the acquisition, and new song packs are still rolled out to all systems simultaneously.
It's unclear if Meta intends to extend support to new platforms. Beat Saber has not yet been announced for Playstation VR 2, and Pico 4 launched in October without the hit VR game.
It is quite possible that Meta will permanently withhold it from the Chinese company. After all, Pico is backed by Meta's biggest social media rival: TikTok parent company Bytedance, which now also wants to fight for market share in virtual reality.
Lightband is an almost exact clone of Beat Saber
A video has surfaced on Reddit showing a Chinese Beat Saber counterpart called Lightband. Whoever developed the copy didn't even bother to distinguish themselves from the original: Lightband is a direct copycat of Beat Saber. At least there is the option to set the note blocks: Blue and green instead of blue and red, or blue and red comic chicks.
The Reddit user who posted the video writes good things about the Beat Saber copy. It feels just as good as the original, only the squats and custom songs would be missing.
Just Dance is supposed to fill the Beat Saber gap in the West
Pico will not release Lightband in the West for obvious reasons. Meta could take legal action against the 1:1 copy. VR Youtuber Erik Hartley has a video lined up for this week showing Lightband on a Western Pico 4. Obtaining the game from the Chinese store and getting it to run on a European Pico 4 is not easy, Hartley writes on Twitter.
For Western audiences, Pico has a notable beat-saber alternative in development. With Ubisoft, the company is developing a Pico-exclusive version of the dance game Just Dance specifically for VR. The release is planned for 2023.