Following their appearance with a new “8K” prototype at CES 2018, Pimax’s latest update says that backers won’t see their finished headsets until Q2, delaying the initially expected delivery date by several months.

Pimax ran an awfully successful Kickstarter for the “8K” headset back in 2017, concluding the crowdfunding campaign with some $4.2 million in funding. The company quickly thereafter announced a $15 million Series A investment for continued development of the headset, which aims to deliver an ultrawide field of view and high resolution.

While the first wave of “8K” headsets were estimated to begin delivery to backers in January, 2018, Pimax’s latest update to backers pushes the headset’s estimated delivery into Q2 (April–June).

Currently, taking into account the fixes for the final version, we are now looking at a delivery window of Q2. So we’re certainly getting there! We will continue to offer you more frequent updates as we pass those milestones and tweak towards our final version. We are so grateful for the feedback you’ve given us, and for the patience, you’ve shown in allowing us the time to really hone Pimax 8K to be the best it can be.

We do understand that our initial estimate for delivery was perhaps generous, and for this we sincerely apologize. It’s been very encouraging to hear from press and community that have tested the latest version, and that they feel we’re almost there, but we of course know we’ve got a lot of work to put in over the coming weeks. We don’t want to let you down on final build quality, so we’re back at the grindstone, and as M1 becomes available, we’ll have an even clearer idea of our trajectory, which we will of course share with you ASAP.

The update also offers a timeline of the company’s various prototypes over the last year, and says that, starting in mid-March, they expect to begin showing the ‘M1’ (the “close-to-mass production unit”) and working with a “small, closed group from the community” to test the headset and gather feedback ahead of the final production unit.

SEE ALSO
Pimax Responds to Critical Reception of Latest "8K" Prototype at CES

Delays for Kickstarter projects involving hardware manufacturing are not uncommon, so we’re not surprised to see Pimax push back their estimated delivery date. In fact, in our breakdown of the most important stories at CES 2018, we figured as much:

If Pimax plans to meet the quality bar set by headsets like the Rift and Vive, we don’t expect to see the headset launch before mid-2018, in order to give the company time to finalize their design, tune up outstanding issues, and sort out manufacturing issues which always seem to crop up during initial production. Kickstarter backers of the headset could see beta/prototype versions delivered in small batches prior to mid-2018, however it’ll likely take some back and forth between backers and Pimax before the headset is truly ready for open sale.

The question now is whether or not the company can iron out the kinks we noted in our CES 2018 hands on, and do it in time for their new Q2 delivery window.

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  • Laurence Nairne

    Hardly surprising.

  • Scottie01

    For those who that think this is funny. HTC’s new VIVE view master 1.5 comes out around the same time packed with 1st gen goodness. Pre order now with credit card and recieve a free Sony walkman pro ;)

    • simon cox

      Not funny, nor surprising. They have a lot of stuff they need get right. I would say HTC is packed with transitionary technology, hence 1.5. There are a lot of what-ifs surrounding Pimax’s 8k headset (considering their track record) but I hope they get it right.

    • Munky27

      When you reference View-master are you referring to the cheap plastics
      used in the Pimax, the weird distortion in the edges of the lenses of
      the Pimax or the poor quality construction in the Pimax? Show me here
      on this doll where HTC hurt you…

    • Different perspective here.

      The Vive Pro will be an incremental upgrade to existing “proven” HMD’s. Put it on and enjoy a better experience of every aspect compared to a Vive/Rift

      The Pimax is still a prototype so not even at Gen 1 standards yet.

      The Head strap is about as basic as you can make it
      The HMD has tracking issues
      Can not run at 90Hz
      Has multiple issues with the optics
      IPD doesn’t work correctly yet
      No mention of Brainwarp development to handle that extra resolution.
      Responds to the community with enthusiasm then ignores important questions.
      ….Going to mass production for M1 in 7 weeks

      How does that sound from a different perspective?

      I wish myself that the Pimax 8K is a success but if I am absolutely honest with myself, I think they are just going to release it with too many issues for it to be a competitive product.

      • CoffeeBuzz

        D3Pixel said – “, I think they are just going to release it with too many issues for it to be a competitive product.”

        We shall see. I dont understand your pov though. If anything their evolution through the versions and their willingness to push dates until they get it right. tell me they will in the end, have a competitive product

        I am a HTC fanboy myself. I was pre – order # 200 ish. I am excited about the Pimax as well. I remember when lighthouse was being described in its beta stages how folks trashed it too and said it would never work as expected.

        I think Pimax will come out with a winner here. They are just still ironing things out. How many builds did Rift have?

        • >> they are still just ironing things out.

          But they have given themselves just 7 weeks to iron these issues out for M1.

          Some issues are major unsolved issues. The forums have been asking for Pimax to talk about the CES issues which they responded to and said in a week they will respond. A week passed and the official update to the 10 or 11 outstanding issues was just two words “fine tuning”. That’s all they said after everybody waited for a response to the issues raised on v5.

          So, fine tuning and ironing things out is all you can hang your hopes on and eventually they may release a competitive headset agreed. But not in 7 weeks, nobody is that good.

          Lets say they release a 80Hz headset as the M1 then that single issue alone is below the recommended minimum spec for consumer VR. Fatigue and motion sickness is known to occur under 90Hz. I think they will release the M1 pretty much as it is now but with the tracking fixed, the display 30% dimmer (to fix the tracking) and maybe even at 82Hz. I also think they will fix the peripheral rim reflection that some reported with lining or some other simple fix. 7 weeks is no time at all.

          As to how many builds Rift had, If we are talking consumer builds then it had 2. The DK1 and the DK2 but then again they were also in uncharted territory as they had nothing to reverse engineer. So the Pimax could have “developer kit” versions too which would be an excellent idea rather than going straight to mass production.

          • CoffeeBuzz

            D3Pixel said -“But they have given themselves just 7 weeks to iron these issues out for M1”

            My current understanding is that M1 is a test set for a select group of backers to put it through some paces. nearly two months to prepare this test unit sounds reasonable to me. Considering how many iterations they have come though in a short time already. I think another iteration can be developed in that time for more testing. I think you are exaggerating the current set of issues aside from the 90hz issue. This one is something I feel they have concerns about. The lense and IPD based on their description seem to be the same issue and as they suggested is an adjustment to the build.( m1 ?) Unless you think they are lying , Some said tracking was a bit jittery. This could be fine tuning as well if it is sensor placement or sensor cover thickness. I dont know , so I will take their word at “fine tuning” the build to correct.. I dont know what other “issues” you refer to when you reference 11 outstanding issues.

            We’ll see. I don’t have a crystal ball but I think Q2 is a wide margin for delivery that makes sense and doesn’t concern me as much. In the end we are talking about a toy.. a pricey one but a toy none the less and I would rather be excited than stressed about it :) I do think my logic is sound enough to stay optimistic

          • M1 would make more sense as a testing unit, like the DK1. I edited my last reply with this at the end saying maybe it is a language barrier. When they say “Mass production” they mean small batch testing units.

            Anyway, as to the CES “issues” I mentioned, here is a list.

            http://forum.pimaxvr.com/t/summary-of-known-issues-with-pimax-8k-5k-hmd-v5-that-needs-fixing/5073

        • Caven

          The problems with the Pimax 4K make it hard to be confident that they’ll get the Pimax 8K right before shipping it. In a world where the Vive and Rift are already release products, making a headset that’s basically a Rift DK1 with 4K and headphones seems like a bad idea–yet that’s what they did anyway. I’d love to see the Pimax 8K succeed, but Pimax’s own track record hasn’t proven to me that they will make the right design decisions. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, but for now I think I have good reason to be skeptical.

      • Dave

        A bit like the Pimax 4K then…

      • Dave

        To be fair some of the more recent issues at CES was because of last minute changes which didn’t get the required testing needed for the expectation at CES. However a lot of people enjoyed that experience and none of the issues are insomountable. I think we’ll definately see the best Pimax yet.

    • Icebeat

      The same stupid joke in reddit.

    • NooYawker

      What did you get from Pimax for donating to their campaign? Unfulfilled promises? Enjoy visiting VR sites while everyone else is actually enjoying their VR.

      • Scottie01

        Haha. Enjoying Vr? It warms my heart to see the VIVE amuses your small brain

        • NooYawker

          And you have nothing. No wonder you’re amused.

          • Scottie01

            What did I get from donating? The main reason I pledged is to help force the two big players bring forward their release dates. If pimax release a unit that actually meets the standard they advertise we all win because HTC and Oculus will no longer drip feed us small improvements. I couldnt care less about the money

          • NooYawker

            Well thank you then. But let’s not forget it’s first gen. Microsoft also just released their VR headset. And there’s many other companies releasing headsets this year as well. But I’m sure it’s the pimax Kickstarter campaign that’s going to push the big players.

  • gothicvillas

    It wont be ready even in Q2

  • superdonkey

    Anytime this year is good for me, no rush at all.

    It’s not like there is a massive amount of new vr content anyhow.

    • Kyra

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  • Lettuce Cat
    • NooYawker

      So PImax just needs to be bought for a few billion dollars and have a few billion more poured into it.
      And also taking into consideration the Oculus was going to the very first commercial VR headset the delays weren’t surprising.
      So comparing the first ever commercial VR headset and Pimax is a very bad analogy.

    • Dave

      Oh boy was it worth it!!! Oculus Rift rocks! Quality product.

  • spamenigma

    This isn’t new or news, we were told this by Pimax weeks ago? All we’ve had today is an update reaffirming that.

    • Heliosurge

      Sure it is. Not everyone follows the forums. So Media outlets like this one help to spread information to the pubkic at large.

      • spamenigma

        No its not, even RoadtoVR reported it in December. Nothing has changed since then?

  • NooYawker

    After the hardware, design and production means is finalized it takes months to get production up and running. They haven’t finalized anything yet, so Q2 is definitely blowing smoke up people’s asses.

  • PJ

    Shocked…now expect it delayed to Q4

    Bought the original pimax, awful awful product that was only fit for watching films, until it broke 5 months later

  • We all knew they were having delays… the project was too ambitious. The hope is that they’ll ship in Q2 and that this headset won’t become the new STEM

  • ale bro

    i expected delays from the start of the kickstarter. i opted for the 8K X so am happy to wait until the next generation of GPUs to power it.

    Fortunately the samsung odyssey is out now, no need to wait for the vive pro anyway to get an upgrade.

  • Heliosurge

    Awesome article Ben. Thanks!

  • David Herrington

    Honestly, Pimax isn’t in any rush (aside from pleasing their customers). HTC has already shown their hand for 2018 with the Vive Pro which updates the screen a bit and bundles in the new strap but doesn’t come with new controllers. Oculus is silent in 2018 in the PC VR arena.

    Pimax really needs to produce a solid HMD to do well, and they seem set on fixing the larger issues before shipping. The only question now is if they can do it in Q2 or if they will push back again.

    I’m predicting that they may be able to get everything together and manufacturing will get HMD’s out to most people in Q3.

    • Dave Graham

      Sounds about spot on for me… I’m not a backer but have the money tucked away to upgrade from my CV1 when I’m sure improvements have been made. They are deffo moving in the right direction to take that money.

    • ChrisVR

      HTC has proven to be a joke really. By Mid march the 8K will be in testers hands and we will know for sure if it works. By that time there will be two HMD’s available with 2.0 tracking. People need to remember the tracking that makes the VIVE good is not their tracking!. Anyone vendor can use it. And as far a controllers go HTC is not bringing anything new to the party. Knuckles will be available from steam. So that leaves only the HMD itself By March which one will be better? From all reports Im betting on the pimax

  • theonlyrealconan

    Take your time/get it right. We need better and you are our best chance right now.

  • hugorune

    Good! Better a delay than a bad product. Great decision!

  • Tapp1

    I can wait, just don’t rush and get sloppy.

  • jarjarplinks

    Each delay makes them less relevant allowing others to play catch up.

  • Junt

    I wish Pimax would put more focus on their headstrap.