Pimax shocked the VR world earlier last year by smashing its crowdfunding goals with the announcement of its 8K VR headset. Essentially two 4K panels for an effective resolution of 4K per eye, and Pimax was adamant that it had achieved 200-degree field of view.
Pimax also said that it had eliminated the screen-door effect and related motion sickness due to slow tracking. Well, I got to try it in real life today, and here’s what I found.
200-degree FOV is the real deal. I didn’t expect it to make such a profound difference in experience, but it did. Trying on the lower resolution 5K headset which also had 200-degree FOV, the immersion was immediate and intense. Yes, you still see the pixels, and they look fine and sharp, but they’re there. That didn’t matter, because the FOV was so enveloping that it changed the way I was behaving.
My head and eyes worked together like they would in real life. On the original Rift and Vive, I found that i had to consciously move my head much more often than I would when glancing around in real life. With the Pimax headset, I didn’t have to do that at all. Horizontally, the image was essentially complete. Although 200-degrees isn’t the full horizontal range of your two eyeballs, it’s close enough. The main part that Pimax needs to address is the vertical FOV. I was still able to see black areas, but they were much less “there” than compared to the Rift and Vive.
The two Pimax headsets also didn’t appear to exhibit any perceivable lag to me. I was able to move my head around freely without feeling sick.
As for resolution, the two Pimax headsets are definitely sharper and clearer than even HTC’s new Vive Pro headset. I have to admit, though, that the HTC Vive Pro is now at a minimum value of “good” resolution for VR. After you see it, you can’t go back to a Rift or the old Vive. The Pimax 8K does the same thing to the Vive Pro.
I asked about GPU and Pimax said that the 5K headset was powered by a GTX 1070 and the 8K headset was powered by a single GTX 1080. When asked if it was a 1080 Ti or not, they said they didn’t know.