Expectations are high for backers of Pimax’s very successful Kickstarter campaign which raised $4.2 million in crowdfunding last year for a VR headset promising an ultra-wide field of view and high resolution. Following a critical reception of the headset’s latest prototype at CES this week, the company has responded to backer’s concerns.

With an initially estimated shipping date set for this month, backers of the “8K” headset were understandably uneasy after reading our hands-on report, and others, which indicated a number of issues ideally needing to be tackled before shipping out to customers. Responding in the comments of a Reddit thread linking to our hands-on, the company stated:

Hey all, I’m a Pimax staff, my name is xunshu. Thanks to Ben for the review. Here is what’s going on:

V5 is the first prototype after the tooling for mass production. It requests lots of tuning works. However, we still decide to bring it to CES to showcase the backers the latest version.

We made several changes with v5 before CES. For example, the lenses and the mechanical design of the lenses are both new tooling version. The change may lead to new issues, e.g. the reflections, but the issues will be eliminated and the benefit of the new design will reveal after fine tuning. To reach approximate 30% increase in brightness level, we added 3 more LEDs in the backlight panel from 12 to 15 and increased the LED current supply to the panel as well. As a result, the current supply in other parts decreases and new issues occurs e.g. tracking performance. It’s not hard to resolve, the team is working on it. We use valve tracking technology, the tracking performance won’t be an issue at all in the final product.

After hardware and software fine tuning and all the issues resolved, we plan to ship limited number of testing units to selected backers, and may bring the units to more backers to test via roadshows. The details of the issues and analysis, along with shipping schedule will be updated later this month.

We’ll be looking forward to trying the headset at the next opportunity as it sees further tweaks.

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  • David Herrington

    And this is why I love transparency. “Yeah, we know that our v5 has some issues but they were created because of trying to make our product better with brighter LCD’s and shouldn’t be an issue in the future”

    This makes me feel a little bit better about the criticisms so far. Also like they said, they use Lighthouse tracking which has already been proven to work so that shouldn’t be an issue in the end.

    • Mei Ling

      I wouldn’t say “transparent” but rather damage control.

    • compwagon

      Lighthouse tracking is a tool, not a solution. Just because surgery has been proven to work doesn’t mean that you can trust anyone with a scalpel.

      • From the Pimax response the tracking issues were a power issue because they redirected more current to additional backlighting LEDs for an extra 30% brightness, as a result the tracking was underpowered.

        Take from that what you will.

        • Jerald Doerr

          Geeez hello.. More math they just can’t seem to get right! You’re telling me they increase backlights by 30% with 2 or 3 LEDs and forgot understand how much power draw everything in the system needs? No wonder why they can’t get hardware working right as it sounds like there’s no overhead for power. I hope they’re using computers and not sticky notes for all the electronics.

    • Andrew McEvoy

      Yes I agree. Also it explains the positive reviews from trusted reviewers before now. That was doing my head in tbh.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Why didn’t they say that at the convention itself, and only AFTER the backlash… Real transparency would have been if they were honest about v5 when they presented it.

      • Vincent van Looij

        They said they’d bring the newest iteration to CES beforehand, so they could get feedback from the community. Imho they literally did what you’re blaming them for not doing. It’s too bad the new iteration had some unexpected issues on which they now replied. They probably didn’t expect people to fall over these minor issues after announcing they’d bring v5, the first prototype made with mass productiontools. I bet they don’t even have a experienced spindoctor (communitymanager) thinking these things through. It’s a young company focused on the task at hand: iterating quickly in order to make the perfect next gen VR hmd. Nothing else matters, as the product will speak for them once they’re ready. I’m confident it will go this way.

    • Christian Vogelgesang

      This is what communication with a chinese company looks like. They screw up things and if somebody has concerns “hi my friend. everything is ok my friend. we thought it was a good idea to change the assembly. we’re going to fix it my dear friend” with no real fixes afterwards….

      If Pimax is able to fix all the problems… Great
      But i expect nothing until they deliver it.

  • nascimentw@gmail.com

    Are they still improving the product? It should not be ready before 2018!

    • Chris01

      It’s still two prototypes away from release. This ia the first prototype made from mass production tooling and they had a power issue due to adding more LED panel back lighting. They wont be shipping anything anything untill its perfect

      • Andrew Jakobs

        If they wont ship anything until it’s perfect, than why did they ever ship the 4K…….. Let’s wait and see until they actually ship the consumer version (which is presumably an itteration later than the kickstarter version).

  • mellott124

    I was at CES and thought it looked pretty good. Especially given the price point. Tracking had a few glitches here and there but it far exceeded my expectations. I was impressed by the LCD black levels. Looked almost OLED like. There was some display smear that they’ll need to fix.

    I saw their knuckle controller copies on the table too. Looked cool but didn’t try them.

    • Sam Illingworth

      I didn’t know we knew the price point – what is it?

      • Rita

        Go-o-gle is paying 97$ pe-r- hour,with wee-k-ly payouts.You can also ava-i-l this.O-n tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this l-a-st four weeks..wi-t-h-out any doubt it’s the most-c-o-mfortable job I have ever done .. It sou-n-ds unbelievab-l-e but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it!wx18q:➨➨➨ http://GoogleCashGlobalWorkFromHome/online/easytasks ♥♥j♥♥♥l♥p♥i♥♥♥h♥♥v♥♥t♥a♥♥♥s♥i♥♥♥q♥♥♥u♥y♥r♥♥♥h♥♥y♥♥♥c♥♥t♥♥♥p♥♥m♥♥j♥♥♥u♥♥e♥♥♥y♥i:::::!dw262f:lwei

      • Well these were the Kickstarter prices, so you can base expectations off of that. We don’t know official retail pricing yet, though.

        https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pimax8kvr/pimax-the-worlds-first-8k-vr-headset

  • The #Pimax ‘story’ illustrates some important truths about #VR and new #Tech
    1st – Over-hyped #VR HW companies have both benefited from and can be destroyed by Expectations
    2nd – (Prediction) The lifespan of a #VR HW platform that misses deadlines is about 6 months past its expected delivery date
    3rd – It’s going to be REALLY tough to compete against #OculusRift or #HTCVive in the Premium #HMD space.

    #VRInvesting in Platform agnostic #VRSWSolutions and #AR Solutions in 2018!

    • Jistuce

      Am I missing something, or are you trying to embed twitter hashtags into a medium that treats the number sign like a normal character?

      #yoloswag

      • Tweeting confusing if you ask me :)

    • Chris01

      How can it be tough for them to compete with HTC. They just announced their new headset for the next 18 months. A hacked CV1 with nothing but a slight resolution bump. Pimax have nothing to loose if they can just lock down the design

    • burzum

      Why is it tough for them to compete? The Vive Pro is not better on the paper, Oculus has not even announced anything new, the tracking tech is the same as Vie uses and the field of view is larger than Vive and Rift. Their HMD works with Steam and integrates well in the existing Steam ecosystem through OpenVR, unlike Oculus walled garden.

      If Oculus or HTC doesn’t come up with something “wow” anytime soon I might get a Pimax 8k when it’s officially available and has been tested and reviewed by some people.

      • The new Vive Pro is a finished product. New panels, headstrap, ergonomics, audio and supports lighthouse 2 natively. You can bet out the box it is a finished product tweaked to a high standard even if the specs on paper are lower than the Pimax 8K. Also, the Vive Pro at 3K / 90Hz is about the optimum spec for the GPU’s we have available. That is an important aspect when you think of additional costs to run these HMDs.

        We have one company that has been in this industry since the start vs a KickStarter with high ambitions. I would not discount the Vive Pro so easily when it comes to the entire experience. Pimax track record is still to be established. Their 4K shipped unit was, and still is plagued with issues so that does not instill confidence.

        Saying that, I do want 200 fov at 4k! That would be amazing and drive the entire VR industry forwards whoever manages it to a high standard.

      • NooYawker

        The average consumer probably has no idea what Pimax is. They’re all aware of oculus and rift is. Marketing matters. Just look at smartphones. Only iPhone and galaxy makes any money.

    • Hivemind9000

      #tard

    • Fara Nume

      Why the heck you prefix everything with #. It looks very #tardish

  • NooYawker

    He just wrote what everyone who tried it saw, the device is not ready.

    • David Herrington

      He wrote and admitted the truth about the device, which is that it was not ready but at least had a good explanation as to its current state. It remains to be seen whether they can fix the issues before shipping.

  • impurekind

    Cool. Hopefully that’s exactly how it plays out. :-)

  • Andrew McEvoy

    Sounds reasonable and Im going to give them the benefit of the doubt. That was a balls out move or somewhat foolish move showing the V5 version at CES when they knew it had new issues though. I would have played it safe with the older version that worked better and continued on developing in the background.

  • Ted Joseph

    Take your time! You are going against BILLION dollar companies like Facebook, and HTC so you need to ensure the product offers something the others won’t, or it will fail. So TAKE YOUR TIME!

    • James Trotter

      HTC have been a sinking ship for a long time… I wouldn’t really call them a big player in the tech industry anymore. VR is their golden ticket out of the shit they’ve dug themselves in to.

  • theonlyrealconan

    I am not impressed with the vive pro. There is a lot riding on this. Take your time and get it right. ;)

  • Kevin

    People will literally complain about anything… I backed the 8kx and I am perfectly fine with the way they have done things thus far