Hi Pimax community,
Backer #15XX from Spain, yesterday my 8K came, and I started to be able to mess around with it in the late afternoon. I did everything I could to be calm and solid with my initial approach, I installed Pitool .95.
It seems is the new version, as there are three boxes for Cable, Strap and Charger respectively, and the housing of the headset felt sturdy and the weight not so light.
Initial Setup Experience:
At first everything was a breeze, I installed Pitool .95, connected the headset, immediately recognized. I don’t have Base Stations, because I sold my Vive with them (kind of miss them), so I cannot talk about problems about pairing controllers or lighthouse tracking. I checked the headset first time… BOOM! I’m there! in this creepy planet of Pimax Home, tried to set my IPD, kinda the rough way. Everything works just fine and without hassle.
As I don’t have lighthouses now, I’ve made a list of games that could work in seated 3dof mode on Steam and Oculus store. The first experience I chose was Aircar, knowing it was Unreal Engine, I activated Parallel Projections, BOOM! I’m there flying my car, patrolling the city like Deckard, and I thought to myself “This is very much plug and play, they have really done a great work of improving the experience, I don’t know how everybody has that much problems”… then, it all went south.
Second, I wanted to try Henry… that shortfilm on the Pimax has a weird Sepia coloring problem, kind of a bummer since it was expecting to be the color test for me, so I went for another experience, and everything I tried to start was not starting at all, or having some weird issue (Parallel projections checked or unchecked), specially SteamVR games, I was really surprised the compatibility with Oculus Store games were better than my SteamVR existing collection, but a lot of the games on the Oculus store although they were gamepad games (edge of nowhere/feral rites) and let me start the game, they didn’t let me proceed as it didn’t detect the sensors, but this is no Pimax fault, only Luckey’s Tale worked, and it was a blast to be honest.
After the breath of trust playing Luckey’s Tale gave me, I had a rough 2 hours trying to get anything more working on the headset, not Elite, not Battle Zone, not Assetto Corsa, not Project Cars 2, everything I thought it would work on 3DOF, sometimes the headset was displaying some displaced black screens mixed with a zigzag rays of grey, sometimes the game didn’t start at all (Redout), sometimes, the game started at the menu, but crashed after start to play and sometimes simply a grey screen. I started to feel the sorrow, and said to myself that this was to be expected being an early version of the product and not having base stations at all for be able to try more catalog.
The I found the Pitool .103, and decided to give it a go. The headset upgraded it’s firmware, noticed the extra options, and then the initial Pimax splash screen was feeling flat all of a sudden, like a wall poster in front of me. “I’m screwed” I though, and none of my issues were resolved at all, so I uninstalled Pitool .103, and reinstalled Pitool .95, and the Pimax splash screen went to normal again, which eased my mind of screwing the headset.
Then, tired of trying to get something substantial to play for months while the lighthouses 2.0 and controllers arrive, I took a break, eat and relax, and I found checking my mobile that a new Pitool version .109 was released, I jumped from my couch and installed immediately (first nvidia drivers and the Pitool), I checked the headset and the Pimax Splash screen was again feeling flat like a poster, and I though “oh boy, not again”, but then I started to try again some games, and suddenly I was playing Battle Zone, which was a total blast with the FOV and the resolution, and then I could play Elite Dangerous, which would give me hours of fun until the rest of my pledge arrives. The image also, seemed somewhat clearer at same settings, and the Wide/Normal FOV felt suddenly super natural even at the edges.
I had to go to bed then, because I work today, but with the feeling that the headset resurrected from it’s “it’s expected not to work fine yet” status to a more optimistic “I need to try everything again tomorrow!!” status. I slept well…
Initial Headset Impressions
The weight of the headset was surprising me and a friend of mine which was there when I received the headset, although in theory this “new version” weights more than the initial produced 8Ks. The build quality is fine for me, I don’t know if it’ll crack over time but it feels nice for me, the foam smell was very pronounced at first, but now it dissipated and it’s a non issue by now.
The lenses are beautiful to me, at first I noticed some weird god rays/ reflections inside the headset, but I noticed it came from the headset not being totally sealed in my face, and let some outside light get in, which caused some reflections on the lenses, totally a non-issue now.
Then, the strap… oh boy, what a mess. I sold my DAS with my vive, and I regret selling that more than the lighthouses and controllers. I cannot get the perfect fit for me, so the headset is constantly drifting down after a while, which forces me to fix it again, breaking immersion. Pimax DAS cannot arrive soon enough. (If anyone has a strap advise for me, please, I’m an empty vessel)
In these few hours I had with the headset I did not find any anomalies with the display yet (I will further investigate) I really like the lenses, at first, in Normal FOV, I noticed some of the famous distortions, which didn’t bother me much, I accepted as one of the known drawbacks, only a 15% problem, but I got used and it’s true that differs depending from the experience you try. After Pitool .109 I think this is a totally non-issue for me, I was playing Elite for 2 hours last night, and I didn’t noticed them once.
Regarding Blacks and Colors, the only time I really noticed difference is on the SteamVR Home, I was really familiar with that place before, and it really feels dull and dim compared to my Vive. But aside from that which is bad for me, because I really like explore the SteamVR environments, I feel that the blacks is not really a problem for me, and the colors on games like Luckey’s Tale were great. When I test more games, maybe my opinion will change, but when on games… I feel that is fine for me, maybe I’m less strict in this regard, which I thought would be noticeable for me, it’s not that bad.
The SDE, when the headset is well positioned on my face it’s a non-issue too, I notice it, but it’s very forgiving the second you stop looking for the display and let yourself immerse on the game, with text on focus and not having to think about moving your head further to explore details or read. I mean, I come from the OG Vive… this is way beyond for me, it’s not perfect yet of course, but it’s a great step in my VR headset career (Oculus DK1 -> Vive OG -> Pimax 8K) My friend who was trying the headset with me said: “Well, VR is starting to be where in needs to be, this resolution is really something now”
The FOV, well… that was my main point to buy this headset, I wanted to experience Wide FOV, and as other people said, is not a WOW moment the first time you try, because you’re concentrating on so many new problems, BUT… I don’t know if I’m getting used to, but after Pitool .109, I feel this headset is a beast, I only tried Battle Zone and Elite with it, but it is growing on me already, and I cannot wait to get there again. I don’t have my Vive anymore to compare, but I already can feel that I would not want to play again with it. This FOV is a sleeper, you start not noticing it’s power, but suddenly you’re drifting with a tank shooting a flying drone, when another tank enters your peripheral view, and you got both things in sight, which let’s you plan your next move in advance, and you know it’s gonna be awesome.
For me, the combination of FOV, SDE, Resolution is a combination of things that wouldn’t let me go back to my OG Vive, but the most important of these is the FOV, which imho adds a lot to certain gameplays. I will further explore, I hope more games work that beautifully with it like Elite and Battle Zone.
If Pitool .109 continues to make games playable for me, I’m in for a treat until the base stations and controller arrive. Also, I have a 5k Plus and a 5K XR coming alongside, I wanted to try them all, because I’m a sick VR mofo, but if I only ordered the 8K… I would be a happy guy already. The headset is great, not perfect, but definitely I feel this headset (when working right) deserves to be among the choices of people.
They only need to take care of the software, and make it more transparent and plug and play for new customers, keep improving performance and compatibility where they can, keep working to give existing customers reasons to stay on the brand, and nail the add ons, and controllers, to finally blow as a real competitor. The modular headset way is the way to go, I have a friend who got a Vive Pro, and he is seriously mad at the announcement of the Vive Pro Eye.
When I have more detailed experience, maybe I will update my thoughts, but I wanted to share my initial impressions because they were so valuable for me coming from others while waiting my own headset.
sorry for my english.