"To be spoilt for choice": Touchpad or Thumpstick?! => Solution: Both = Changeable modules


Now we are spoilt for choice.
This is a hard decision.

If the design is not yet in production, let the engineers build interchangeable modules.

So everyone gets both.
Everyone can decide at any time what he or she wants to use.
And do not regret later having decided on one of both.

And retailers (online sellers, big markets etc…) do not have to decide on specific quantities of the two versions.
And it’s a big advantage over the competition!


I’m skeptical that they could produce an interchangable module version without sacrificing something in the process, whether it’s size, ergonomics, quality/reliability, or even just the time to market. If nothing was sacrificed, sure, it’d be nice, but otherwise, I’d just as well choose between the trackpad or thumbstick.


Its a nice idea, but doing this complicates the tooling and design, increasing production cost. In addition,supplying both modules for each increases cost a point of sale. Given pimax have already set prices and charged money for the units i cant see that kind of cost hiking measure happening. not on this controller generation.

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Wish this would die already, it’s a terrible idea… We are getting two separate controller designs. This is what they said during Kickstarter and many of us bought two sets for this reason.

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I think, now both controllers are identical with two different “modules”. Not fast and easy changeable, but only inserted in the same controller design.

The only difference in my sceanrio is the simple changing without opening and screws.

The part should cost “a few dollars”.
I would also buy later.

If necessary, the opportunity to buy the screwed modules later.
Then you have to open the controller before changing.

@ Evol

“Many of us”.
I think not :slight_smile: .


I get that this would be awesome - but the reason no. 1 by a large distance for failure of projects is working against moving targets, i.e. the desired specs being amended, especially increased in terms of demand during the whole project. We are 2,5 away from HMD shipping date, if that’s still the plan - if the controllers are still due one month later, that’s 3,5 months for them.

Pimax need to lock down the design, and start testing their prototypes very soon ! We are already concerned about their aggressive time line for the HMD, where we know they have presented the first prototype Jan 2017 - on the controllers they had nothing than a sketch just a few weeks ago, issued hastingly when reviews discharged their Vive wand replicas. I have backed them for the controllers, but I have serious doubts we will get any quality controller in such a short turn-around time window.
However, in order to stand any chance if succeeding they must stop adding new features desired by the community, keep it simple, and start to test run the prototypes asap.

At times I am afraid that we are all just in a dream bubble stating what we would like to see in a next gen VR system and Pimax promises all sorts of things like eye-tracking (usefull for fov rendg, why would we otherwise care), wireless, etc. and we will end up acknowledging that it was all wishful thinking with no chance of success.

Having said that, I believe in the core HMD as I have had the chance to witness a 5 minute demo. But we are all of course still waiting for someone to run it on their own high end rig and confirm that it really works as demoed without any bigger trickery in the background…


It is quite certain that both controllers are identical, and only touch and Thumpstick are different.
You could open the controller with Touch, and install a thumpstick you have buyed as “replacement part”.

Why should Pimax develop two completely different controllers?
I think the base will be identical for cost reasons.

I think, Touch and thumpstick are alreday “modular”, but you should open the case (unscrew…) etc…
I think creating a plug-in design without the need for open the case “is a breeze”. Maybe under an hour’s work for a experienced 3D CAD worker.

If they do not make it easy to change, then I want to know what Thumpstick and Touch will cost as a spare part.
Then I buy them as a “spare part”.
Then I decide for the controller with the more expensive “spare part”.
If touch is the more expensive spare part, I take touch.
If Thumpstick is the more expensive spare part, I take Thumpsticks.

No, I do not want to buy four controllers.
It’s out of the question.


And I don’t want a controller that is crippled because of someones demand of interchangeability, “it’s out of the question”.

First of all, “plug-in” designs are ALWAYS prone to break, takes up more space, limits how you can design the entire object etc.

To make the stick variant fully featured it needs more buttons on top than the touch-pad one, a analogue stick takes less room than a touch-pad, so on the stick version there is room, but if you propose that the touch also should have the buttons to make the “change” easier that cripples the touch-pad as it now has less room. So to make that changeable in any usable and sane way the entire top needs to be removable, making it half the controller into a slot in thing, which is ridiculous…

On the spare parts thing, if you want to bring out the soldering iron no one is stopping you.

I like to idea of interchangeable modules for thumbstick or touchpad. Something you screw on and off depending on which games you want to play.
They have not locked their designs yet, and production is not started, not even prototyping. Why not improve it, we got time anyway.

As long as we don’t see any video proof of something working, i will consider that nothing exist other than the HTC Vive Controllers. Even Valve Knuckles are still in prototyping, no one has access to them.

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Because its not an improvement, its a side step and compromise.

Valve Knuckles are fully available to devs so that is not “no one”.

Its the same number of connections. 4 way click on track pad (dpad) touch sensor (cap sense on top of stick) 2 axis on both pad & stick analogue.

And as for soldering? Why not just glue the modul in if you don’t want to remove it? Lol. If your constantly swapping then yes it can give problems. But unless you spend more time swapping then playing you should be fine.

Didn’t know the Knuckles were available for dev, sorry.

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Soldering is not needed.
Usual controllers use plug connectors.

I should open a topic for buying spare parts and there prices.

I need this information also, to decide…

@ XabbuSWE

It is a impovement…
Because no disadvantage for the “deniers”, only a benefit.

And the deniers or thumpstick “worshippers” could use only one module.
No risk for for very theoretical wearing the connectors (@ XabbuSwe).