Disclaimers: First, I hadn’t used my Vive in a few months, and I neglected to do so right before I went to this meetup, which would’ve given me a better baseline perspective from which to compare. Second, I arrived late, so I didn’t have a lot of time to do many apples-to-apples comparisons between the two headsets. I tried 3-4 games on the 5K+, then 2-3 games on the 8K. They weren’t the same games between the two headsets.
That said, what I did see increased my confidence in the reviews and pixel comparison photos from others, like SweViver, MRTV, etc.
I tried the Medium and Large FOVs. I noticed the slight distortion at the outer edges on the Large FOV, but realized this is something that I will forget about after a few minutes of immersion in a game, and I’m pretty sure I will be using the Large FOV exclusively (i.e. the extra FOV is worth the slight distortion on the left and right peripheries). Same goes for SDE. SDE is slightly visible on both headsets if you actually look for it, and between the two headsets it is slightly more visible on the 5K+. But the SDE is much less visible than on other headsets (e.g. Vive and Rift), and when I’m playing a game I tend to get immersed and completely forget about the SDE after a minute or two.
The major difference between the two headsets, in my view, is text quality. The text quality on the 5K+ is noticeably crisper. Everything on the 8K is a bit softer, including text. And text is something I do not forget about while playing games. Unlike SDE and the slight distortion on the peripheries on Large FOV, text clarity is something that I keep noticing the entire time I play a game and try to read small or distant text. Certain games I had to just give up playing on the Vive, because I just couldn’t read the text, and the text was important to the gameplay.
Everything else (colors, black levels, SDE, minor outer distortion) I can get used to. Text fuzziness I cannot.
I was afraid, when going to the meetup, that I was going to regret my switch to the 5K+ on the survey, and that I’d have to email Pimax support to change my choice to the 8K. But I came away from the meetup being happy with my 5K+ choice, and not regretting it at all.
For people that are super sensitive to SDE and cannot get used to it, and don’t play games where text quality matters a lot, perhaps the 8K is a slightly better choice. But if you play games where you absolutely need the best text clarity available, the 5K+ seems like the obvious choice.