Pimax Portal, the Nintendo Switch-style handheld that can be used as a VR headset, is experiencing a bit of a road bump, as the company announced the VR portion of the device has been delayed due to a hardware redesign.

Update (July 19th, 2023): As first noted by MIXED, Pimax has delayed its View headset shell, which holds the previously launched handheld Portal device. In a blog post update, the company says the new VR shell takes inspiration from Pimax’s Crystal and ‘8K’ headsets, ostensibly offering better weight distribution and comfort. Those photos comparing the old design to the new redesign can been seen below this update.

“The Portal is an ambitious device and we want to make sure the headset is really great,” Portal’s product manager Snake Lin says. “The first prototype works, but we feel it’s not good enough to mass produce. Its weight isn’t distributed well and the comfort can be improved a bit. Also, we found some components are a bit weak if the user is rough with the device.”

View is coming in two editions: one with a battery pack on the back and one without, which are slated to ship to the 600+ Kickstarter backers sometime in Q3. At some point afterwards the company will open orders to the general public. The original article follows below:

Image courtesy Pimax

Original Article (April 18th, 2023): Over the years, the Shanghai-based company has been known for its wide field-of-view (FOV) PC VR headsets which include large, high-resolution displays and wide FOV optics, making Pimax one of the few to offer such devices directly to consumers. With the announcement of Portal and standalone headset Pimax Crystal, the company seems to be striking out in a new direction from its PC VR roots though.

As a hybrid device, Portal works as both a Nintendo Switch-style handheld (running Android), and a Samsung Gear VR-style headset which uses a dedicated VR shell housing and Switch-style controllers, which snap into their own bespoke housing.

While strapping an Android device into a headset shell is decidedly a throwback concept, Portal managed to attract over $350,000 from backers in the device’s 2022 Kickstarter campaign. Putting Gear VR comparisons aside, the device is being couched as a jack of all trades, as it’s set to offer both 6DOF head and controller tracking for VR gameplay on top of acting as both a handheld console and living room entertainment hub.

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In a fresh status update, Pimax says it’s now finalized Portal’s hardware, with mass production set to start. Admittedly, Pimax says it’s currently optimizing the software for Portal, with heat dissipation, power consumption, and controller connection marked as areas in need of improvement. This also includes what it calls “rare” tracking issues and SDK-related game porting issues.

By the end of May, Pimax says it will have “more than 20 VR games” available for the Portal VR mode. Furthermore, Pimax says the QLED version of Portal will support native PC VR via HDMI, while other versions will support streaming PC VR content via WiFi e6 and USB-C.

This comes on the heels of the news last month that Pimax had secured a $30 million series C1 financing round, something the company says will aid in the rollout of both Portal and Crystal headsets.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    With no VR software despite claims of having thousands of devs working on apps lol.
    classic pimax cringe.

    • Dan DeMontmorency

      You should do sone research. But granted no easy to do if you have no interest in the product. The unofficial Pimax portal sub has had a few DeVs posting there including th video player whirligig? is it. Asking for testers.

      The only big challenge here is the rise of gaming handhelds; though any Android based ones simply compliment each other. However tough competition for any Android based devices as pc versions can run Android aps.

      • ViRGiN

        Oh wow, are you effing serious? A VIDEO PLAYER? i saw the post from developer himself – EVEN HE DOESNT HAVE ACCESS TO PORTAL!!!!
        nobody develops anything for portal, and portal is dead on arrival in western world, even by a simple fact that it doesn’t even support GOOGLE PLAY store. sideloading APKs, third party shady stores are for niche minority. it’s a nonsense product, coming from nonsense company, who has never ever released anything on time or up to half of quality of competitors.

        • Arno van Wingerde

          I would have given a +1 for that if the tone had been somewhat nicer.

    • Jaap Grolleman

      Pimax here. This is simply not true. We have 76 developers (titles) on board and this month we’ll already have 20 VR titles, way more in the future.

      • ViRGiN

        Nice 20 VR titles bro. Shame noone has ever heard about them.

      • Arno van Wingerde

        I do not often enjoy Virgin’s comments… but he has a point here. I for one think it a dangerous watering down of limited resources on special games for VR glasses with a very limited market share. Pimax makes some incredible nice products but this kind of thing keeps a lot of potential buyers on the fence… witness the comments here. I am contemplating buying a heavy gaming PC for VR gaming, but I will likely start with “a safer bet” like Quest 3/pro for starters and only buy a Pimax after I have the impression – reviews, comments from users – that it is a mature product.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    “while other versions”
    And that’s why Pimax sucks, they never finish one product, every single model they have is a prototype. They really should get their act together and do one good headset before releasing it.

    • ViRGiN

      no, they should collect as much money as possible from all western customers; so they ultimately loose their funds and finally focus on what’s here and what”s real instead of buying into crowdfunded never ending promises and dreams.

    • Daisy

      Pimax is learning from the past and improving hardware & processes all the time. Just wait until you get your hands on the Crystal!

      • Andrew Jakobs

        And before the Crystal is even really ready they will ship it, and will have a Crystal+ ready in a couple of months later. At this point they have a lot of unfinished products, even this Pimax Hybrid will suffer from the same problem.

        • XRC

          It’s a different business culture with rapid iteration, similar to the “Agile” software style model, compared to “Waterfall” model of Meta, Valve, HTC, etc.

          From my Pimax Sword review for Skarredghost last year:

          “This rapid iteration is something that Pimax is known for, not uncommon in on-shore tech business culture with access to specialist manufacturing facilities, experienced engineers, and samples of the very latest components. Things move very quickly, competition is always pressuring, there is no time to hang about…”

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Yes, it works for software, but not for consumer hardware products.

          • Arno van Wingerde

            I love that model… for internal research, not using my money. I hope the current users are not left behind while Pimax goes after something even more advanced.

  • CyberVR

    Had done one of the biggest mistake of my life as an original Pimax KS pledger with Pimax 5k+. Warning everyone, including people who are keeping an eye on upcoming (still not) Crystal, Don’t do it guys… Don’t! Keep ypur hard earned money for reliable companies!

    • Jaap Grolleman

      Crystal has already shipped to the first customers. I know it’s behind schedule but it is happening.

      • ViRGiN

        What isn’t behind schedule? This is pimax and pimax time after time again.

        • Jaap Grolleman

          Partly because of the lockdowns & zero covid policy in 2022 in China, partly because it’s a lot of new technology and we want to make sure it all works before shipping.

          • ViRGiN

            And yet it will not work properly on arrival. Covid was obvious thing. Once again, nothing has ever been delivered on time. Not to mention we still haven’t seen even demonstration of half the things announced on ‘launch’ last year lol. pimax is nothing more but all red flags and chinesium marketing.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Then maybe focus on one headset and actually finish it before finishing just a prototype like all prior Pimax headsets have been. On paper Pimax always has great headsets, but when shipped it’s still just a prototype, and before actually finishing it, they just go on to the next headset. It’s just a shame as Pimax has the expertise to do excellent headsets. Just focus on one headset.

          • CrusaderCaracal

            do you work there or something

    • My goodness, there are more far versions of Pimax HMDs then there are versions of every Street Fighter game.

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    This idea could be Nintendo’s New console. Usually before Nintendo or Apple unveiled their next gimmick, there are always 3rd parties bringing similar product to the market first. There are always industry spies who stole ideas then make inferior copy and launched them first.

    • ViRGiN

      Yeah, cause pimax definietly innovated and didn’t just steal nintendo switch/valve deck here.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        It’s not like Nintendo switch or Valve deck are anything original. Many years before Nintendo even revealed anything about the switch there were already similair Android based versions.

        • ViRGiN

          It’s not like Nintendo or Android are anything original. A bunch of companies made PocketPCs as well as handheld PCs, not to be confused with laptops. Noone creates in vacuum

    • Arno van Wingerde

      That is the thing: now that Apple is marketing a product where the battery is connected by a short cable to the glasses… maybe more (backpack/puch etc.) intiatives with a computing unit + battery combined with VR glasses will pop up where an ecosystem where you can mix and match glasses and “pucks/steamdesks/ASUS ROG” but I still think wireless connections are the future.

      I want much more graphical power than the “Quest5” can offer, but the PSVR2 experience told me what a hassle an “invisible” cable can be.

  • Pimax Labo

  • Jaap Grolleman

    Thank you!

  • knuckles625

    I for one am shocked, shocked I say, that Pimax would delay release of one of its products. And all the more so that the Pimax Daydream would have issues with weight distribution; if only someone could have foreseen this!

  • Gildahl

    Pimax Crystal = Windows 7
    Pimax Portal = Windows 8

    • ViRGiN

      Pimax white (non Chinese employees) = talentless shills, each one of them

  • What is the point of this thing? Why does it even exist?