As we are nearly half through Q3 and Q4 is right around the corner I am wondering if the announced release schedule is still on track? I don’t want nagging and given the whole extra chaos in the World there days I totally can understand if things have to be delayed. I definitely don’t want to start a game in this thread.
However, for my personal planning I would like to have an updated time schedule so I can plan for the investment and schedule other purchases.
Chinese New Year
Chinese ‘Fill gap as appropriate’
Putin stole our parts for war effort
We donated all our headsets to the Ukraine war effort
Sweviver went awol with our only works laptop which contained latest Pitool
Someone ordered the wrong calendars and we’ve all been working in 2023 by mistake
Zuckerberg said he was going to buy us out for 3 billion but laughed uncontrollably when we invited him to the celebration party. We’re now trying to get our deposit back but we’re keeping the T-shirts which now say ‘We love Palmer Luckey’
Amber Heard wrote an Op Ed about VR and stated Wide FoV headsets give you black eyes just like my bruise kit - we will sue
Actually if Pimax released a headset that didn’t give me eye strain like the 5k+ did and the build quality was good I would consider buying Pimax again. But I’d never do a kickstarted or offer money up front until I’ve read reviews and feel assured I’m not wasting my money.
I liked the 5k+ FOV it gave me the best experiences in VR I’ve ever had in games like Skyrim and Project cars but the Index gave me a user friendly experience for games like HL Alyx and Population One.
Time has passed, years in fact and I feel Pimax deserve a second chance. But they need the overall experience to be up there with whatever Valve and Sony put out next because PSVR2 is going to have some great games and Index 2 might be up there with the Crystal in terms of clarity or be wireless.
Let’s revisit this statement towards the end of the year, shall we ?
To me release date actually means the device is (i) truly available for purchase with delivery within say 1-2 weeks and (ii) reliably working as advertised.
For this year it will only be between the Pimax headsets, Cambria (who said 10 months ago that it will be released in 2022, Quest 3 following in 2023 and so on), Pico 4 and Lenovo VR700 in terms of new arrivals though.
The Apple headset obviously is expected rather for Summer 2023, and still is highly speculative, as is the Valve Index 2 (Deckard), of which hardly anything is known besides for the information posted by Brad Lynch, so we cannot even speculate on a release date for the latter.
It is not my intention to start a flame war once again. We all know the difficulties Pimax had in the past and I am not here to defend their behavior.
However, this time nobody has paid upfront for the new devices and Pimax is not in the position to deliver already paid units. They are making a new offer and as far as I can see the upcoming 12K OLED is quite unique in its features.
Of course there are alternatives on the market and other companies have announced other very nice headsets, no question. But for my part, I am looking for the specific features Pimax wants to implement in their new devices. For my special needs a very wide FOV and a good eye tracking (Tobii is a very known brand for eye tracking hardware) is a very big selling poin.
The world has changed dramatically in the last year and the shut downs in Shanghai, the conflict around Taiwan, the whole issue around Ukraine and Russia, the demand drop due to high inflation are all new things everybody has to deal with. It is by far not only Pimax getting in some trouble in these days, ohky only look at the last earning reports of Intel and Nvidia to see the picture on the wall. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pimax might get serious trouble in the near future when tensions around Taiwan and China and the US will rise even more.
But back to topic, I think the announced trade in program is a very nice move and I don’t see any other company in the consumer industry following that route. I am happy to upgrade whenever Pimax is ready to deliver the new headsets. In addition I don’t expect everything working perfectly from the start, I think everybody expecting this is a little bit naive. Pimax is a relatively small company and they tend to do use their first customers as a beta tester. If you don’t like this approach don’t buy their products in the beginning. That’s fair but from my part I am looking forward to the new features of the 12K OLED and will take advantage of the trade in even when the device will need another year or two to get every single feature they have teased.
With this kind of realistic expectation, you will probably be okay with what you get.
Although I would want to remind you that this time around Pimax has promised a 12 K OLED with a technical level of complexity approx. 2-3 times higher than the 8K/5K series. It is not so much the question if the headset will have the ingredients onboard to deliver such specs, surely it will - but getting all of them well integrated so they actually perform in conjunction is going to be more complex than ever. Pimax over the years did not manage to get the eye-tracking module offered for the 8KX as an option to work reasonably well; it was either hand-tracking or eye-tracking, or you had to add another cable to the PC.
Why does this matter ? Because I would not want to pay for a device which doesn’t bring these capabilities to fruition. A ultra-wide FoV headset will eat my GPU/CPU alive for anything else than a mere 360° movie clip watching if dynamic foveated rendering (DFR) doesn’t really work end-to-end. To add to the misery, DFR unfortunately is not something Pimax have the power to enforce end-to-end: they’ll need SteamVR, possibly the game to support it too. Most devs won’t want put in the effort for the small niche of ultra-wide FoV headsets, so you’ll have to hope the market leaders move down that path in near future too.
There is a realistic chance you’ll own a headset which could do great PC VR, because you bought a brand-new RTX4090 - but the game level really being playable in 5,760 x 3,240 will be Fruit Ninja. Anything more exuberant will end up being a slide show.
Ah, but you can do stand-alone VR, right ? Pimax already clarified that you’ll have to settle for a significantly narrower FoV - and clearly every pixel you wish to add on top of what a Quest 2 offers will mean i) graphics quality even less than on the Quest 2 and ii) possibly it won’t work at all because it may not support differing resolutions or aspect ratio’s and again not many devs will put in the effort to make it work for Pimax 12K owners.
My realistic expectation in the almost best case is that this will be a device which in part will be ahead of its time, meaning it requires not-yet-available computing resources to play to its strengths and for another part will be a combination of features/aims which do not combine well together:
If you want to watch certain ultra-wide footage/content, this is your baby.
If you want to do Social VR, eye-tracking etc. may be very helpful and graphics may be simple, so this may work too.
If you want to play popular PC VR games, it might not allow for sufficient FPS to enjoy them, or only after having limited the HFoV to say 140°. But then it may have weaknesses due to not being designed with a focus on such narrower FoV, and will be heavy due to battery, XR2 compute unit, eye-tracking etc. you don’t use for that purpose. So why bother paying so much money for specs you won’t be able to use reasonably and end up with a heavy, thus less comfortable headset ?
If you want to experience good stand-alone VR, why bother having an ultra-wide FoV headset which surely makes it even heavier as it would need to be ?
For me, use case 3 & 4 form the vast majority of my use of VR and here the 12K looks like an attempt to specialize in two contradicting directions: ultra-wide FoV high-end PC VR & stand-alone VR.
For me the superior solution to get good experiences for use cases 3 & 4 is to buy distinct headsets for each use case. Currently I am running the Reverb G2 for PC VR (my 8KX could use a beefier GPU than my 2080Ti, picture quality at the end was better with the G2) and the Quest 2 for stand-alone VR.
So I will be tempted to get me a Cambria due to the superior comfort it promises, and if the wireless transmission is not good enough (I am not 100% happy with the Quest 2 wireless PC VR experience, no matter whether I use VD or AirLink), there is an open spot for a G2 replacement.
The Crystal would have chances to succeed (more than the 12K in my view) but then again I have major doubts that the R&D and build quality of Pimax will be at a standard their price tag will suggest, hence I will let others take a chance and see what they say after 3-12 months.
First of all thank you for sharing us your thoughts. The whole stand alone ooperation is a toy, but nothing you can expect to use in a useful way. The power of the processor is not much above the Quest 2 but the demand of the much higher resolution will limit the stand alone use to very basic graphics, even when you significantly narrow the field of view. But what is the point of this. If you want to play stand alone with Quest graphics go and grab yourself a Quest for a tens of the price. I hope nobody is buying the 12K OLED with the intent to play mostly in stand alone mode. It would be a huge waste of money in my opinion.
The internal processor is important for other stuff . You will be able to use the headset without Lighthouse trackers which will be a nice benefit for simmers and other people not moving around . If you are more in VR chat or other more moving and body tracking kind of usage Lighthouse will be far superior to the internal tracking. Don’t expect wonders there is no inside out tracking available which can match the Lighthouse tracking and the upcoming Pimax solution won’t match Lighthouse either . However, here you will have the choice and I think that is a very good compromise everybody can life with.
The main difference to the 8k X is Pimax seems to have learned a few important lessons. Instead of developing everything on their own they are willing to buy ready to use functions from the leaders of the VR technologies. The inside out tracking is from Qualcomm, even Meta is buying from them. Instead of using a no one ever heard company for the eye tracking from China they decided to partner with Tobii. Tobii is the leading eye tracking company in the world and already have partnered with HTC and HP for VR headsets and given this record I am quite confident this time it should work out.
The X2 processor can be used to fix some of Pimax main problems in the past. You can tackle the distortion problem right in the headset and use compression to handle higher frame rates in conjunction with the high resolution. Here they seem to have gained huge support from Nvidia and you can see the progress with the implementation of the 90 Hz and now the 120 Hz with the 8k X. When you look back the distortions of the 8k also have improved a lot. I think Pimax is on the right direction albeit I have to admit that they have trouble to stay on road from time to time.
I am not that pessimistic and I think the new platform from Pimax is a solid foundation for the next few years. Videocards are always an issue and always to slow for this or that application. The good thing is they get faster and faster every year. The 4090 will have about double the performance of the 3090 and the pixel count from the 8k X to the 12K OLED is double either. So you can expect roughly the same frame rates when you switch both. However, we are getting new technology such as DLSS in the Microsoft Flight Simulator and when Meta and Sony release their eye tracking HMDs things like forwarded rendering will get more attention, too. And if this is not enough for you, next year there will launch the 4090TI and the year after the 5090… You will get the card you want for the 12K OLED eventually, don’t worry. Being an early adopter isn’t that easy from time to time but don’t we all love our hobby and passion?
This video brings up an interesting consideration. XR2 is a family, not a specific chip. Pimax has said that their Reality series will have an XR2 and that it will run higher clock speeds than the XR2 in the Quest 2 due to active cooling. But perhaps it is a different variant of the XR2 altogether and not actually the same particular chip as the one in the Quest 2.
This might address some concerns which expect the 12K standalone performance to be no better than the Quest 2. Bradley mentions a 30% uplift in capability in the video. He’s suggesting that this is the uprated XR2 going into Project Cambria. Perhaps the same is going into the Crystal and 12K?
Cambria is rumored to have a September launch which perhaps interestingly matches with the Crystal’s announced launch date. Could both Pimax and Meta be constrained by Qualcomm’s launch date for this new XR2 variant?
@Garbage I admire your optimism - I hope you are proven right, but my confidence in Pimax mastering such complex system is not too strong. Sure, they are probably adding better tech into their headset this time around, but they still need to make all parts work together as one - in complex tech projects the system integrator role often is the most critical one at the end. Pimax seem to have a tendency to want to make their headsets check all the boxes, and I was under the impression that their decisions to implement yet another additional feature was not always based on previous meticulous scrutiny of it being feasible with reasonable efforts.
On the improving GPU performance - while that obviously is true, I concluded for myself that my 8KX would actually need the 4090 to shine, and finally outperform the G2 for me. So I expect the 12K to likely be asking for a 6090 to make sense for me. You can view this as a „glass half full“ situation: cool, it‘s future-proof. For me it resulted in my 8KX gathering dust on the shelf, and I would fear the same for an 12K: no GPU to let it shine in 2022, and when that GPU finally arrives in 2026, chances are that we‘ll have superior headsets already. Those might not offer ultra-wide FoV, but that is not that much of a killer criterion to me, certainly not for the part beyond 150 degrees…
There is a different standard though for sure. If apple releases a product it’s expected to meet every order within 1-2 weeks. I don’t think we can expect that for a long long while from Pimax. I hope that’s only because it meets all the goals and the demand is wonderfully high. But for sure it’s a soft-launch since they already reserved the opening period for trade-ins.
Fine, but even a soft launch demands that the device is available in some quantities, and by that I mean more than say 20. And Pimax will not need lots of headsets to be produced prior to launch due to their hefty price tag - nobody expects them to be overwhelmed by demand as soon as launch day has arrived.
So if a fair number of devices is delivered within the 1-2 weeks period to regular users, of which I would expect some on this forum to be in the group of first served customers, I would call that a proper launch. So you would see reviews of real users trickle in after this 1-2 weeks period.
But if we see no actual user without “added value” to Pimax, (e.g. influencers) get a Crystal/12K within 1-2 weeks after these allegedly have launched, I would consider that to be more of a claimed launch while in truth they are beta testing their latest prototypes with a limited (and likely carefully selected) group of users. And in that case the true launch may be many months away, depending on how many issues are reported back to Pimax. I still vividly remember the “launch” of the 8K to the three musketeers: they went back with so many issues that Pimax was forced to go back to redesign a couple of their earlier choices, and it took quite a while until the headset really launched.
Just going by my experience with Pimax here. Happy to proven wrong; but you wouldn’t want to bet your money on that, would you…
You are absolutely right - it’s just that Pimax announced these hard dates and certain employees apparently felt insulted by the suggestion that Pimax may not meet these dates with such complex headsets. So… I will keep an eye on their performance to see if their level of displeasure with my cheeky remarks was justified…