Offering an update to backers of the successful Pimax “8K” Kickstarter, which aims to deliver a high resolution VR headset with an ultrawide field of view, Pimax says ‘M1’ pre-production units should be complete by April, with initial backer shipments of the final “8K” headset starting in Q2.

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.

While the first wave of “8K” headsets were estimated to begin delivery to backers in January, 2018, Pimax updated backers late that month saying that the timeline for shipments to backers had slipped to Q2. Following the debut of the ‘V5’ prototype at CES in January, the company said their next milestone was the ‘M1’ (which they describe as their “close-to-mass production unit”) and had expected it to be ready by mid-March.

In the latest update from the company on their forums, Pimax said that a late shipment of new lenses meant that the M1 won’t be complete until early April. The company plans to solicit external feedback by shipping M1 units to confidants from their community before finalizing the production version of the “8K.” Given the current timeline, Pimax still expects initial shipments of the finished headset to Kickstarter backers some time in Q2.

Starting with the M1 prototype, the company says they’ll be making the jump to SteamVR Tracking 2.0 and expect to achieve a stable display refresh rate of 80Hz, though hope to drive it further for the finished version. Pimax also expects to share its new controller designs by the end of March, but say that the delivery of the finished controllers themselves isn’t expected until Q3, after the first headset shipments.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    I wish the pimax was a mixed reality with proper insideout tracking.

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      • Ian Shook

        Good point, Maria.

        • lloydbeatz


    • JJ

      I’m happy the pimax isn’t using inside out tracking, which Jean has nothing to do with mixed reality.., so that the controllers we use can contronue to be tracked when not directly in our FOV. Its been such an issue with controllers loosing tracking on windows headsets that developers have had to go back and implement features to deal with it.

      • gothicvillas

        Jean is a local comedy guy

        • JJ

          yeah its not funny having someone making stupid comments all the time here… thats what youtube is for. if you think this is the place to try and be the funniest troll then you’re an idiot.

    • Harry Cox

      Scraping the Jean Pool

    • Rob H

      “proper inside out tracking” sadly doesn’t exist. You can have the crappy front-only facing tracking that’s in current WMR headsets, or you can have the complete tracking system that’s proven to work using steam lighthouses. Personally, I’m glad they went for the latter considering this is designed to be a high end VR headset and therefore deserves the full experience, not a mid range one like the WMRs.

    • Kryojenix

      Well sorry there’s no mixed reality – but there is supposed to be inside-out tracking via future update (and possibly need for extra add-on module purchase) …actually they may be able to add a mixed reality mode that way.
      But don’t hold your breath – one thing at a time.

  • theonlyrealconan

    Excited to see reviews of the the final products and comparison between Pimax 8k and the Vive pro. My guess: vive pro will have better image (as people that have already tried both are saying) and higher quality parts/feel, but the Fov on the pimax will win many over.

    • Sean Buckley

      PiMax has stated that they are fixing the image issues, that people saw when they demo’d.

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    If it is steam 2.0 tracking, then awesome! I wanted to buy an HTC vive pro, and use that for my #1 VR station, and use the same base stations for both.

    • Kryojenix

      It will be Lighthouse 2.0 tracking for sure! I wonder if we can mix match a couple of Vive Lighthouse 2.0 base stations with a couple of Pimax Lighthouse 2.0 base stations later for a 4-base extended station tracking zone as per Lighthouse 2.0 tracking spec…

  • Lucidfeuer

    Hum, the fact that it’s using Steam tracker makes me completely reconsider ordering the Pimax. The specs are very interesting if reviews are proven good, but it’ll be another useless headset for us, we don’t want to use those crap Steam tracker.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      crap steam trackers? it’s still better than the inside-out tracking of the MR headsets, especially if you want to use controllers.

      • Lucidfeuer

        It surely is better in terms of tracking, because the MR headset inside-out tracking, although a preferred format is a completely stupid implementation of inside-out tracking (which baffles me that they still haven’t figured out a few things as of today), but in terms of ergonomics, installations and uses, I find it unpractical enough not to even use or consider any project being done with the Vive, even though I prefer the image clarity and FOV on it.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Because setting up 2 poles for better tracking than MR is too much hassle? I might agree with you if the MR headsets were wireless, but they aren’t. And most people have a fixed setup so they only have to setup the lighthouses once and never have to bother with them.. I would rather say not to use an MR headset due to the crap tracking of controllers then not using a Vive (unless maybe you have a controllerless experience/game, but even then I don’t see the point of not considering the vive). As a developer you’ll want to have multiple headsets anyway, so you can support more platforms and increase your income with a minimal effort. If I was even a bit serious I would have the Rift, Vive, a couple of different MR headsets, as those aren’t the real cost of developing a game/application.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Yes it is too much hassle, wether it’s for any client, event or showcase demo or even most people apartment in cities. The lighthouse tracking of big spaces does work well, never said otherwise, so I’d understand why it’d be okay for a fixed set-up since image is a little bit better as well. The design, bulk, installation and set-up however is an absolute no in those practical cases mentioned above

          • Andrew Jakobs

            uhh, really, only difference between MR and Vive are the lighthouses.. And those Lighthouses don’t take any real time to setup, especially in an apartment with a fixed location.. The biggest problem with MR is still the tracking of the controllers (or rather lack off), and also the tracking of the headset doesn’t work well in certain locations (a lot of glass for instance).

    • Rob H

      Wouldn’t have backed it if it wasn’t using steam tracking tbh. Fact it’s using an already proven high quality tracking system that many already have installed in their homes is a massive selling point for the headset. I would not be interested at all if this was using shitty inside out tracking like the WMR headesets have – I’d take steam’s lighthouses any day.

    • Thoemse

      That’s a strange opinion really. Oculus optical tracking works, windows mixed reality tracking works barely with heavy downsides. Lighthouse tracking is widely known to be the best tracking solution for VR to this date. The Vive has its downsides but tracking is not one of them.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Tracking in itself is not the downsize, the installation and component required are however absolutely ridiculous. First of all, I would want that in my appartement, I like it clean and optimised like most people living in big cities. But at at the office, the reason why we have 1 Vive and I don’t even know if it’s now 6 or 7 Oculus Rifts, and that none of client want to touch that Vive crap for their projects, is because of the ridiculously bulky and unpractical installation and cables required by the Vive, especially the lighthouse even though we have dedicated pole-stands.

        It’s really a matter of ergonomics, there’s such a wide “rift” between the Oculus that required three/four cables, can be -put- anywhere, or even transported in small package versus the Steam that has a total of 8/9 cables and then the lighthouse that have to be plugged, connected and most importantly mounted god knows where.

        • Thoemse

          To each his own. Most people agree that the biggest downside of the rift is the cabling you need for the three cameras. Lighthoues only need a socket in the vicinity. This is actually a huge plus for the lighthouse tracking system.
          I used to own a rift and a vive and really cannot see where you are comming from.

          WMR has the advantage there for sure and it is cool to not need cameras or lighthoues but it simply does not work well yet. I am sure it will soon though.
          Calling the rift less wire intense is a far stretch though unless you do not play roomscale.

          Last time I checked I had one single wire to the breakout box. Two lighthouses that I installed above a socket. That’s it.
          I can see that carrying around is a nightmare. It is crap for that. Lighthouses are no takeaway installation.

          • Lucidfeuer

            “Lighthouses are no takeaway installation” when you’re constantly moving headsets around for demo, this is the simple no-go. As for wires I count every plug needed at install/unbox (which would be 11 if you count the Wands, but since the Touch eventually need to be plugged too…).

          • Thoemse

            I’d say 99% of all users have a gaming room. For moving around they suck. I agree. Same goes for the rift to be honest though. You should use a MR headset. That would make it the easiest. Controller tracking sucks but it would serve the purpose for what you need.

          • elev8d

            You know you can track multiple HMDs using the same lighthouses right? Also, if you don’t need a roomscale space, you can use just one lighthouse, which is similar to using Rift with one camera.

          • Lucidfeuer

            No it’s not, I’ve installed VR system enough time to say that the Rift far surpasse the lighthouse in terms of ergonomics, while the Lighthouse is far more “powerful” in tracking and scale capabilities.

          • elev8d

            Ergonomics? You aren’t using that word correctly, and because of that, I don’t know what you are trying to say.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Yeah right, I’ve studied ergonomics partly for the whole good of my bachelor and still currently at work…you don’t understand that word (and overall concept), the burden is on you.

          • elev8d

            Well considering the lighthouse is just a laser emitting box and the Rift is an HMD, I a bit confused as to how you are comparing ergonomics of the two.

        • Konchu

          I don’t feel Oculus is near as easy or clean a setup as Vive. Sure for 180 Oculus is easier but for room scale Vive is much easier the satellites only require power. With Oculus it needs active usb cables and a generous amount of USB 3 ports that is problematic for laptops etc. I have set my lighthouses on shelves and calibrated a spaces easily or used camera stands(and other tall objects) for easy portability.

          As far as apartment aesthetics Vive is much easier to look nice the satellites look like speakers for the most part and since the only require power it is much easier to hide cables. Routing bulky inflexible USB cables that require extenders so they have bulges is places is much harder to hide. I have seen Oculus setups that look nice but it is hard to do comparatively.

          If you want portable ease and no clutter at all Mixed reality wins hands down though. No extra things needed except maybe some extenders cause the cords are too damn short, and can be stored away when not in use.

          I do like my Oculus it is a great system and well polished product. But I like lighthouse being a platform for peripherals etc. Oculus did this for Rockband and I like it and would like to see them do more.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I guess it’s a matter of taste (as design goes) but most importantly use. The Vive does have a slightly better image and tracking works better for very large real-estate if you’re using it. But as soon as you have to move, travel and install VR set-ups around, the Vive is unpractical, and nowhere near the straight-forwardness of the Oculus (well except that extra HDMI and USB port it requires, but most gaming laptops or rigs I encounter are compatible). Then, really the ergonomics, design, and the fact that I live in a crowded city made me go to the Oculus for home with no hesitation for the same reasons, but for this situation it’s to each their own.

          • 3872Orcs

            It’s the total opposite for me. I travel and demo a lot and setup for the Vive is much easier with the Vive than with Rift. The Rift cabling set up for roomscale with 3 or 4 cameras is slow and takes up all the USB 2.0 slots and then the cables often end up getting in the way running over the play space. You can’t get as solid and big tracking area as with the Vive. Also that annoying as hell and finicky setup where the cameras have to be in the right position for it to accept so I can get the guardian bounds, god damn that is annoying!

            Though part of the reason the Vive is so simple to set up for me is also the two poles I use that I can stretch out and then goes from floor to ceiling, plus the clamps for the lighthouse sensors. This equipment work for the Rift as well but then I would have needed two more of everything for the extra cameras.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I completely agree that for large scale tracking set-up the 2 lighthouses do a better/more straight-forward job.

            I guess it really comes down to what kind of experience you are producing and demoing, for my agency there is no question that the Oculus is more practical, but should we have a budget that required large scale and multiple headset tracking, the Vive would obviously prove more practical in this case.

            But then that’s the reason why we’re never asked nor do we ever wanted to produced experience for the Vive instead of the Rift for now. And design is a plus given we operate from creative and branding standpoint.

        • B!

          Yeah, really don’t know where you are getting 8/9 wires lol. It requires less wires than the Rift for Room-scale VR. Unless you don’t have the newer 3 in 1 cable and count that as 3 and the breakout box (which you don’t really need as 3. Those all go to pretty much the same place, though. Unlike Rift where the wires are all over the place…

        • Icebeat

          yeah and moving 3 USB cable for all the room made more sense right? please shut up.

        • JustNiz

          Lets play a game of “Spot the fact-free oculus fanboi”.

    • Zachary Scott Dickerson

      I wasn’t aware there was a problem with light house tracking? I have v1.5 lighthouse, and cover a 10’x10′ square. I can sniper players at 500+ meters in Standout VR with very smooth pinpoint accuracy, especially while prone. So 2.0 I’m sure is even more amazing. I just hope I can make my space bigger!

    • JustNiz

      as opposed to what? Rift’s laughably bad constellation system? Gotta love those ugly cameras and USB wires all over your smaller play area…

  • Mat Wilson

    Still looking forward to receiving my 8K. The Vive really just doesn’t cut it any more.

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    • Kryojenix

      Semi-agree. I’m still hoping to get a Vive Pro really soon to fill in the time though! (Got folks to handmedown it to after…)

      • Rex Thorne

        The Vive Pro comes with no lighthouses or controllers, so will not trigger the hand-me-down that buying new technology usually triggers for me. That won’t happen until I move to lighthouse 2.0 so I can use the couch adjacent to my VR space for sit-down VR with a 3rd lighthouse.

      • JustNiz

        Wow youre spending $800 just to have a Vive Pro for maybe 2 months? Thats insane.

        • Kryojenix

          Well, I spent closer to $733. But as I said, I have peeps to pass it onto once either Pimax or HTC releases their v2 Lighthouse trackers and controllers.
          I sort of also don’t have faith in Pimax’s delivery timeframe. Or any other kickstarter derived thing. Though I’d be glad to be wrong on this.
          Also: Skyrim VR! – NOW!!!

    • Rex Thorne

      The 8K means going back to a cable, which will make it less advanced that what we can do with the Vive, so how is the Vive not cutting it anymore?

      I expect to use my Vive a lot more than my 8K until the 8K goes wireless.

      • Mesothelioma

        I use the Rift in a racing simulator. I’ll take the wider FOV over wireless ANYDAY! I LOVE my rift for racing, but the narrow FOV sucks. I have better awareness of other cars passing me in my triple monitor setup because I can actually see them in my peripheral vision. The Vive Pro has the same FOV as the vive, huge bummer. Binocular vision sucks!

      • JustNiz

        The Pimax 8K will get a wireless module. It was the 4th of 6 kickstarter stretch goals that got met.

  • George Vieira IV

    I am curious what kind of sweet spot their new lenses have.

    • dogbite

      from what those who have tried it are saying, it’s sweet spot is most of the 200 fov.

  • Kenji Fujimori

    Why the hype and scam for a Chinese 4K X 4K each eye, pimping it out to be `8K`
    WAKE UP..

    • Just because marketing is a little off, doesn’t instantly make it a scam.

    • Eric Hoareau

      ’cause 4k each eye is still the best specs of HMD ever made.
      Nobody’s sleeping dude.

    • Rex Thorne

      You wake up, dummy. The rest of us have always understood the specs.

  • Konchu

    I am so ready for my headset to come in.