I’ll start with the conclusions and then go into the details
For VR Enthusiasts that have BOTH MONEY and TIME to SPARE this is definitely the best headset and VR experience at the moment; and looking at what Oculus, Vive, Valve and other companies have in store for VR I think this will remain the best VR headset for at least 1-2 years.
So for VR Enthusiasts (again with both money and time to spare and that don’t shy away from a challenge of dealing with complicated software and hardware) I’d give this a 9/10 score.
For anyone else (let’s say casual VR consumers) unfortunately this can’t be recommended. I think it will need at least 1 year for it to be the best option for casual gamers - so for this category I’d give it a 5/10 score.
Now into the details
Money - the headset itself (although it is worth every penny) is not cheap and then to be able to run games (and most applications) in VR - at a framerate that won’t make you hurt in just a few minutes - you’ll need an expensive PC as well. And on top of that there’s still some time until Pimax will deliver the base stations and most importantly the controllers and without those the VR experience is VERY limited and buying other base stations and controllers is again pretty expensive especially since the only decent option right now I believe are the HTC Vives (base stations and controllers) which are expensive. I personally have the NOLO, which I got from a friend for free and it’s hard to recommend it especially if you have to pay for it - it’s still a decent experience but it has a lot of problems and takes time, every time you use it, to configure it properly. And then, again on top of that, you will also need some other accessories (that are cheaper) like something to replace\enhance the face cushion.
Time (and challenge) - I’ve been a gamer all my life and also a software engineer (for some time now) and still configuring the Pimax and finding the right settings for each game\application is a challenge. It’s hard to tell but I think from all the hours I can count using the pimax at least half of it was spent on trying to find the optimal settings for each game\application and it’s something that is never ending (especially witch each software update) - so it’s not like you can say you’ll loose a few dozen hours and then you’ll be set up (for life). Hopefully in the future this issue will be minimized but for now it’s an ongoing issue.
Other problems - The headset is a bit fragile so you’ll need to be EXTRA careful with it - I noticed a lot of people had problems with cracks in the headset - I, for one, was lucky and didn’t get that even though I bumped the headset (while it was on my face) pretty hard, hitting my desk, but both the headset and my face were fine so in my experience the headset is not that fragile - BUT I did manage to scratch both the lenses and my glasses before I finally “enhanced” the face cushion to make it thicker so the chances of my glasses touching the lenses are slimmer (not totally gone but a lot slimmer) - fortunately the scratches on the lenses are pretty minor and no matter how hard I try I can’t notice them while using the headset (so all is good) but my glasses got so badly scratched that I no longer use them (I was fortunate to have 2 pair of glasses with the right prescription).
I think it’s pretty hard to do this part justice because it’s hard to find the right words to describe the experience when it is at it’s best. To say the least, at it’s best, it’s simply next-gen VR if you compare it to any other VR headset. It feels like you’re really there and it will most likely put a smile on your face that will be hard to remove (and believe me, I am not one to smile easily). And I still haven’t got the chance to play with proper base stations and controllers and my PC (even though it’s pretty good) is not optimal for VR and especially not optimal for Pimax VR (using a intel i7-3770k, 16GB DDR3 memory and a nVidia GeForce GTX 980ti)
So bottom line, in my experience, this is definitely AWESOME and worth every penny. Thank you Pimax! But please keep on improving because you need that badly (and quickly) in order to become the best VR company.