Pimax unveiled a new VR headset called ‘Artisan’ yesterday that, according to Pimax European Marketing Director Martin “SweViver” Lammi, shouldn’t have been revealed until CES 2020.
Pimax tweeted this cryptic image yesterday, and also published it to their website:
— PimaxVR (@pimaxofficial) December 16, 2019
The headset is lower resolution than their other “8K” headset offerings, quoted as including a 3,200 × 1,440 display; it isn’t clear whether this is a single display, making it effectively dual 1,600 × 1,440 displays for each eye, or if it’s indeed two 3,200 × 1,440 displays. Considering it also has a lower advertised field of view (FOV) at 140 degrees (“8K” and “5K” variants are advertised with a 200 degree FOV) it very likely could be a single panel, divided in two for each eyes. Artisan boasts the same 120 refresh rate of the Pimax “5K” Plus, a $700 headset—so all things considered, Pimax may be positioning Artisan as its newest low-cost headset.
There’s still too little to go on for now, so it’s hard to guess what Pimax is aiming for with its mysterious “?49.00” pricing. The company is however still lagging behind in fulfilling “8K” headset orders for Kickstarter backers and regular customers alike, so the Christmas imagery may be simply be hollow marketing, and likely doesn’t indicate a pre-Christmas 2019 launch at all.
Martin “SweViver” Lammi certainly was taken by surprise by the announcement, as he took to the Pimax forums to explain that the big reveal would come to CES 2020, which takes place in early January:
“If anyone asks me what’s going on here, well I don’t know. Or I know, but I’m not allowed to talk about it. Im [sic] not allowed to talk about this unit at all. Officially it doesn’t exist. This was supposed to be announced and demoed on CES, but obviously someone didn’t agree.”
Lammi further admits even he doesn’t know about the release date, and that he’s unsure why Artisan has the same large body as the company’s “8K” and “5K” variants, which feature a larger advertised FOV.
“Tooling [a] new design from scratch is super-expensive and time consuming. [A new body design] [m]ight happen in the future (who knows), but surely not at this point,” Lammi hypothesizes.
Whatever the case may be, it appears we’ll be getting a look at CES 2020. We’ll have feet on the ground in Las Vegas for the show, which goes from January 7th – 10th, 2020, so make sure to follow us then for all things VR/AR to come from one of the world’s largest consumer tech shows.