PIMAX Roadshow Tokyo - My Impressions/Experience

First of all, I want to thank PIMAX for holding a roadshow in Tokyo. While I was here I was able to stop by and try out the Crystal etc. The staff were very helpful and tried their best to set things up and answer any questions. They took feedback from people as well.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) when I attended there wasn’t too many people who came at that time. I suppose because it was cold and getting closer to the grind of the last few days of required work before the holidays. Though it will have to do with my next statement below:

  • All roadshows activities and schedules should be clearly and obviously announced somewhere on PIMAX’s homepage at minimum. It’s fine to advertise such information on platforms like Twitter, Facebook etc.
    Though not everyone is invested in these platforms alone, and everything could point back to a main central source for the information (PIMAX’s Website).

Now on to the Roadshow:


I think the PORTAL may work well in Japan, a country where many use public transportation to go to and from most places. One often sees some handheld device and people of all ages playing some type of game on their commute.

However, since many competing products have already established themselves here, it will be a challenge and an uphill battle for the PORTAL to gain market share in my opinion. A lower price and simplistic yet powerful features will be part of what it will take to battle for a place in the market. PIMAX should prepare for the long haul in my opinion.

The VR aspect of the PORTAL I felt was borderline gimmicky. I think for some BASIC entry into the VR space and having some minimal VR capability is a nice to have, and if one doesn’t have high expectations of quality, then the price is certainly reasonable. I’m obviously not the target market for this.

The PORTAL itself was great. It ran very smooth, visual was crisp and clear. The controllers also worked pretty well too. I would have liked the screen to have more brightness. It was maxed on my settings, but I still felt it wasn’t bright enough.

Build and quality of the experience of the PORTAL, I felt that it’s like 90%+ ready to go to market from the hardware perspective.


The team were using PCs with RTX 3080s.

Unfortunately there were some issues that impacted us.

  1. DCS was taking forever to load so we wrote that one off.
  2. Elite Dangerous was showing a copy of the same image for both screens, and we didn’t have the time/knowledge to make it work.
  3. The controllers, when they did work, were quite sporadic and lost tracking often.
  4. Then the controllers themselves just stopped working and even when paired to the PIMAX Software, still didn’t work, and it took the team near 20-30min to get them back to their original state.

The following is a list of what they couldn’t show us:

  1. They only had the 35PPD lens (Missing the 42PPD)
  2. No Passthru
  3. No stand alone mode and only could show us via Display Port, thus…
  4. No WIFI 6E
  5. No WiGig
  6. No Lighthouse Faceplate and thus
  7. No Lighthouse Base Stations
  8. No Tobii Eye Tracking, thus
  9. No Eye Tracking and DFR
  10. No Facial Tracking

Some issues I had:

There was enough light bleed for it to be at times distracting, coming into the headset (between the plastic base that holds the foam molding around the forehead) where the base contacted the plastic surface of the headset itself. Double-checked if everything was in place properly and also on the head. No change.
Recommendation: Create a small recess into the headset where the facial foam component plastic can reside in consistently to avoid this light bleed.

I could notice in most lighting situations faint darken areas near the edges of the lens top/bottom/left/right. Keep in mind I was on the 35PPD lenses

I noticed this mostly in the SteamVR room when looking at titles on the wall, but also in other situations too. When looking straight at the clearest in focal point on the screen, it started to get quickly blurry (Out of focus) the further away from the focal point. This was distracting and I felt like I should have more in my point of view that should have been in focus the same as the focal point.
Perhaps some setting applied where the FFR was very aggressive that caused this (Speculation)


The image quality on the whole was simply excellent. Alex Half-life rendered beautifully. I couldn’t notice any screen door effect. Image was smooth.
It was further confirmed that there is a small battery in the headset that allows for the function of hot swapping batteries. THIS, I am very happy about and makes total sense. Unfortunately wasn’t able to test it though.
I was disappointed that there were so many features not ready to show off at the roadshow.
The issue with the controllers not working well (one needed constant plug in to a USB cable) really kinda soured the milk. Since they didn’t have the lighthouse base stations nor faceplate, and after witnessing the tracking issues with the controllers in this current state, simply does not give me confidence that PIMAX’s own tacking solution (QUALCOMM?) is sufficient enough to deliver a necessary quality experience for the user and that the LIGHTHOUSE base stations and face plate will be needed.
What this does is concern me even more, as I am to understand that you couldn’t use the PASSTHRU (special faceplate) with the LIGHTHOUSE controllers at the same time.
If they don’t get the controllers and tracking close to what can be done with the LIGHTHOUSE tech, I fear the user’s likely going to have a frustrating time with the controllers.
I would love to see a more mature version of the CRYSTAL with most all (if not all) features above working well. CES 2023 I feel is a make or break for PIMAX. They gotta get these things resolved before then and have the full gamut of features ready to show.


Thanks for the thorough review of your experiences! I have two questions if you have the time:

  1. What about the Portal VR experience felt gimmicky? (Compared to other entry level VR systems like a Q2)

  2. What was the testing environment like in Japan? Were there a lot of other demos in the same attached space? (Asking because I saw a claim that one reason the controllers are struggling so badly is that the software isn’t designed to handle all the interfering signals. But we also didn’t see them working great at the MRTV headquarters, so I don’t know if that holds water.)

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To answer:

  1. For me, the visual connection with the headset to the screen of the Portal felt ‘obvious’. In a way that it didn’t really feel like VR experiences I’ve had in the past. I felt the FoV wasn’t all that hot and almost felt like in a tunnel. Hard to say, but the feeling was enough that I didn’t really feel all that quite immersed into the image.

  2. There were two Crystals set up with only one of them having controllers. Perhaps there was some interference causing some of the issues with controllers. Though, even when they were working it was quite jerky and cumbersome. I’ve read in multiple places that Qualcomm’s tracking is also simply inferior as well, and not quite sure that’s the whole story.

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Thanks for the follow up. :slight_smile:

The controller issue is perplexing and one I hope they nail down. My best wild speculation is that the tracking woes are a combination of finicky Qualcomm software, roadshow specific interference, and batteries that don’t carry enough juice (and the lack of fast charge capability).

Fingers crossed they figure that out in the next 4-6 weeks.

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Wait one minute. Pimax have stated -

Why is it if they’re packing finished unit are they still doing roadshows with demo units? Doesn’t this defeat the whole object of showing the thing off?

Pimax are showing features complete.

It’s so strange Pimax confirm features as ready but don’t show them to the public while at the same time packing them for a major release in 3 weeks time.

Why don’t Pimax show at least one Youruber a finished unit? It’s ridiculous.


Thx for your impressions,if i read this then the final unit is far from completed… :frowning_face:

Also i hope the will get the lighthouse plate very soon so we can use our index controllers with it…


That’s. easy to explain. The Roadshows are in motion and do not have the latest revisions to demo.

So what I’m taking from this is they’re shipping finished products before they’ve shown anyone a finished product. We’ll apart from the units they have at CES.

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Not ideal but you could use the OpenVR Space Calibrator tool to use index controllers with the Crystal without the lighthouse cover. Not as reliable but many do it with the Reverb G2 without any major headaches.

Thanks for the write up and images! Interesting to see the Portal docking station there.

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Well since CES comes before shipping. Hopefully CES will be quite the show. Plus imagine some of the first shipped will be to influencer orders.

This would be the better route if pimax did this natively for hybrid tracking. It would also save the unneeded extra expense.

What??? The index controllers dont work with the face plate??? I dont hope so,if thats true i dont want the crystal or 12k anymore…

I hope not because i realy wanted the new pimax headsets…
Also i used open space calibrator wit the hp reverb G2… But thats realy not that realible at all…

So @PimaxUSA @PimaxQuorra can we use the index controllers with the crystal or 12k faceplate or not?

Just a few notes about this event that should probably be added.

Logistically this event was extremely difficult because the team that was intended to appear couldn’t because of a massive outbreak of C19. This impacted the samples that could be shown and ended up reverting to older ones except for a couple of pieces of the portal (like the charging dock which is a new version).

We debated how to handle it without the team (or any of the samples that were to be hand carried to the event) and even tried short notice transport of myself, josh, martin etc. with the eu and na samples etc. but the show was happening just hours from other showings. These devices didn’t have the changes that are in the NA units or even the later EU units.

But as they say the show must go on so this is a best effort scenario.


But @PimaxUSA @PimaxQuorra can we use the index controllers with the crystal or 12k faceplate or not?

Yes you can use the SteamVR controllers with the SteamVR Face Plate.

The Op was referring to he was told you wouldn’t be able to use say Index Controllers with the MR face plate.

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Sorry i misunderstand it then…

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Correct, the MR plates use optical controllers but we are considering an LH version too for the future.


Well, let‘s see if everything performs flawlessly at CES2023 then. Obviously it should if they are already packaging production units as we speak, but seeing is believing.

That is, if anybody is left to do any work in their HQ - from what I read the 180 the Chinese Government performed on its C19 policy came out of the blue and hit the country completely unprepared for it. Could end up in a huge mess for entire China for a couple of months. I cross my fingers that the employees of Pimax and their families will not, or at least not seriously, be hit by C19.


It’s not really a policy out of blue. The writings were all over the wall, and everyone knew the Chinese government had to change the policy. The price of closing down became too high that no government could really afford it.

Did they not prepare for it ? They built thousands of new hospitals, millions of testing stations. They pushed for vaccination a few rounds already, so much that everyone could sing the vaccination song. They are ramming up the medicine productions… etc.
However, there is no such thing as “fully prepared”. Maybe you can prepare for a virus with ratio 2 or even 3, but you cannot prepare a virus that is 18! That’s each patient will infect 18 others on average ! No medical system in the world can really prepare for that.

Once the floodgate is opened. The big flood will be unstoppable. Houses will be destroyed and people will die, whether you like it or not. The whole continent will be overwhelmed. I am just glad that they at least delayed this big flood for 3 years.

Pimax had been no doubt deeply affected by this. They made bold plans, but the closing down just made everything difficult. You CANNOT expect them to follow their schedule, when most of them are having fever, and their families having symptoms. So please give them some time, some patience. They are on the right track, just cannot move fast yet. Crystal will come out as a finished product, and we will be all cheering about it.


Good news is Pimax roadshow staff was already traveling both in the EU and North America so we do have some tradeshow staff. We will need additional volunteers to assist with CES though to cover for those who cannot travel. Big 50x80 booth same size as Microsoft nextdoor.