Pimax, the China-based VR headset manufacturer known for its wildly successful ‘8K’ headset Kickstarter campaign, probably won’t be hitting its January 2018 ship date for its consumer version as previously promised to early backers. Then again, we sort of expected that in the first place.

As reported by Tom’s HardwarePimax is now moving into its fifth prototype version of the ‘8K’ headset, which is said to hide the headset’s sensors, improve IPD adjustment, and improve heat dissipation and strength. The company is also currently exploring a “new hardware solution” to reliably keep refresh rates at 85Hz and 90Hz. Previous prototypes seen at public demos used a 75Hz refresh rate, although Pimax says the current prototype is stable at 80Hz. Regarding the new hardware solution, Pimax says they’ll “reach a conclusion in March.”

The headset, which hooks into Valve’s license-free SteamVR tracking standard, boasts a 200-degree field of view and dual 4K panels—a list of features that garnered it over $4.2 million in Kickstarter funds before its conclusion earlier last month.

While the January shipping schedule was ambitious from the very beginning, Pimax also recently took on nearly $15 million in Series A funding which will give them more runway to further refine the headset and ensure a smoother consumer launch.

image courtesy Pimax

Pimax says they’ll update backers sometime after CES (January 9-12) to announce the shipping plan for the first batch of headsets. The company says they’ll be using CES as “a good chance for us to collect feedbacks [sic] to further improve 8K.”

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Pimax Ends VR Headset Kickstarter With Over $4.2M and a Truly Massive Job Ahead

“After CES, our Pimax R&D team will move on to debug the headset and improve the algorithm and make sure software is ready before we start to ship anything,” says Pimax in a forum post. “Our project team will evaluate risks, and annouce [sic] the shipping plan for the first batch. Then, our Pimax community marketing team arrange close demos with VR enthusiasts, and ship a very small batch to the leaders in Pimax community and volunteers before shipping larger volume.”

In the comment section of the announcement, the company says its earliest backers will have the decision to take the latest prototype ‘8K’ headset or wait for the final design. “We will double check with every backer via email before shipping,” says Pimax’s Xunshu Li. “We will have a better idea on Jan [sic], and then send email to ask stakeholders.”

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  • theonlyrealconan

    It was obvious that the design was not finalized yet (I was an early backer that canceled when I found out the 8k was only upscaled 1440p) from the answers the devs were giving in the kickstarter forums.

    I still think I will end up buying one, but only after it comes out and the reviews back it/the FOV alone makes it a decent buy.

    • gothicvillas

      Pimax 8k will come out same time when there will be Vive and Oculus 8k 200FOV versions out. Tough gamble they have on their hands.

      • theonlyrealconan

        I highly doubt that since neither one has said anything about second gen yet. And I am not sure if they will have an increased FOV either. But I hope I am wrong, because I love the quality of both the vive and the rift.

      • Dan DeMontmorency

        You need to pay attention ti the trends. Both Oculus & HTC are shying away from High end PC vr headsets for favor of targetting standalone & low to mid tier vr headsets (larger market). On tge Steam front atm you have PiMax & LG on the rise for next gen steam headsets. LG is only raising the bar slightly while PiMax is pushing tge boundary to give consumers access to a commercial level headset that will require a high end pc. If you look Disney is listed in PiMax’s sponsors; which suggests Disney will likely have PiMax powered experiences in the near future.

        Both HTC & Oculus are releasing newer headsets that have better displays than there first offerings. But even HTC hasn’t said anything about even releasing a mild upgraded Vive to support Laser tracking/lighthouse v2.0.

        You will however see new Steam headsets as Valve has released Developer kits.

        • RFC_VR

          We assume there will be 2nd generation of PC VR, we may only see 1.5 iteration like LG and Pimax…

      • Konchu

        I don’t think HTC or Oculus releasing a 8k headset as they are not going to fudge the numbers and true 8k I feel is a little ways off. I could see some other better headsets within the year though. I would love to see some big brands with crazy fov headsets I remember Valve stating 180 FOV was something to shoot for, for immersion and bang for your buck.

  • Andrew McEvoy

    Yeah give it the time needed I say. Got my Vive and CV1 to keep me happy in the meantime.

    • care package

      Glad to see you have your Vive and your Consumer Version One.

      • Andrew McEvoy

        They are my pride and joy, alongside my pc.

  • Lucidfeuer

    Do we have precise information on the panel model they use (for chromatic aberration, SDE and ghosting purposes)?

    • elev8d

      Pretty sure this is confidential info until after the release.

    • Adrian Meredith

      Not they’re still working on it but if you look at their youtube channel they provide a bunch of “through the lens” videos that shows off the quality and it looks really good imo no hint of sde at all and what looks to be a large sweetspot

  • Hivemind9000

    A little disappointed about the delay but I think I’ll wait for the final release version. By the sounds of it I won’t get it until the latter half of 2018 (if they are only finalizing the design in March).

  • sfmike

    Good news really, take the time to get it right. But hopefully not until 2019 like a lot of Kickstarter campaigns that take years to get their product out. (Giroptic 360 camera)

  • nipple_pinchy

    I just got a Odyssey. I can wait.

  • MW

    I told you so… Prototype in March. Shipping maybe in 2019.

    • elev8d

      ? They are on their 5th revision of the Prototype. Definitely will ship before 2019.

  • ale bro

    Does this mean the Pimax 5k is still on track for January delivery?

    • Dan DeMontmorency

      The 5k ship date will be updated in January. The 5k & 8k use the same hardware save that the 8k has dual 4k screens & an upscaler. The delay will likely be for both to this end.

  • gothicvillas

    Pimax 8k will ship in 2019 im afraid. By the time they will be ready to ship, there will be Vive and Oculus CV2 with similar panels and FOV but better quality. Pimax 8k made only sense if they ship the headsets now. In 2019 they will have to compete with big guns and I personally think they will have no chance. Shame really.

    • Ted Joseph

      I owned all of the most powerful VR headsets (PSVR, HTC, and Rift – and now only have the Rift), and had a blast with them, but I definitely think 200 deg FOV and Higher res is what the tethered PC version needs. If Rift or HTC does not have an upgrade by the time Pimax comes out I will be purchasing a Pimax, and an untethered Santa Cruz. Ultimately, having an untethered 200 deg FOV, 8K headset would be amazing, but that seems many years away…

    • Raphael

      It’s good that the piemax developers work closely with you to provide actual shipping year.

    • Dave

      No sure about this. We’ve not heard of an CV2 so were probably still some way away. I suspect Oculus and HTC are also waiting for the technology (lenses, GPU vendors, network etc) to improve. I can see Pimax shipping at the end of 2018 and a CV2 / Vive possibly 18 months later but with 140-160 degrees FOV not 200, Inside out tracking but still teathered, I think we’ll see 4K (per eye) foveated rendering which will offer much greater performance that we see today.

  • Ron

    lol

  • Patsy

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