It makes perfect sense to me. At the time Pimax was going to demo at CES, it was believed that Facebook and possibly even Valve and other big players were going to announce their next big VR headsets there. The event was expected to be a big deal for major VR launches. And what did we actually get? Just Facebook announcing their name change and talking about their future plans for world domination. No actual product releases or anything. Just fluff. And nothing from Valve or any other major player either.
Pimax is a little fish swimming in a pond where all of the other fish are huge. The people on these forums are intensely interested in every little thing Pimax does. But the rest of the world hardly knows or cares that Pimax even exists. I think that perspective is often lost when we’re talking about this kind of topic.
Pimax is not able to produce buzz in the media on its own. It has to piggy back off of buzz created by larger fish. And realize here that I don’t mean getting coverage from RoadToVR, Thrillseeker, Mateo311, etc. These are VR centric news media which are themselves small fish in the news media pond. The various bigger fish in news media hardly know or care that the VR industry as a whole even exists, much less tiny little Pimax. It’s a momentous occasion for references to VR to appear in a Superbowl ad. How many times has VR ever been mentioned on CNN or FOX?
If you look at the timing of Pimax’s various presentations with this in mind, it makes a lot more sense. They are consistently timed for when other bigger fish in the VR industry are creating buzz which draws (or at least potentially draws) interest from bigger players in news media. They try to get their presentation out just ahead of whatever the big fish announces. Essentially putting themselves in the role of an opening band at a concert. That huge crowd didn’t come just to see them.
For example, the Crystal presentation appears to have been riding off of the expectation of Apple’s imminent announcement of their rumored AR headset at their big event the following week.
Returning to Pimax demoing at CES, I was surprised at the time that Pimax would say that they intended to still demo the 12K shortly after CES. That would have been a mistake. That would be like the opening band missing playing the opening, but then deciding to play on stage to an empty theater after the crowd has already gone home. I suspect this was a kneejerk reaction at the time amidst covid concerns, and they thought better of actually doing it later.
So my belief is that Pimax has been technically able to demo the 12K since at least CES just like they said. They’re just waiting for the appropriate moment from a marketing perspective to do it. And also, the longer they wait, the better that demo gets as they get more stuff sorted out closer to release.
But why has that been so long? Well, because we’re in a lull in the VR industry for any big product announcements. I mean there wasn’t any big stuff at CES or since CES. The 12K and Crystal are actually the only substantial VR headsets on the horizon right now. Everything else out there is just rumors and/or future plans with no dates. Deckard, Cambria, Apple’s AR headset, etc… they’re all ghosts.
The announcement of the Crystal for Q3 is strong evidence that the 12K and the Crystal are both on track for their release dates. What motivation could Pimax possibly have to make this announcement if they weren’t? It would be nonsensical.
There’s a big difference here in that these are not Kickstarter projects. Pimax, for the first time in its history, isn’t being forced into making release date promises it isn’t ready to make. These release dates are being offered voluntarily.