The Pimax 8K headset was announced by the China company, and was expected to already be in production. However, the company has recently stated that there were issues with the prototype that needed to be addressed. They believe the issues have all been addressed, but it is still in the testing phase. As a result, consumers will likely have to wait until May before they will actually be available.
The first delay experienced by Pimax was seen towards the end of the year. As a result, the company promised to release pre-production lenses shortly into the new year. But delays in shipping resulted in even more delays of the lenses. Add to that the company needing to make changes to the design of the lenses, and requires new tooling to be created. The company still stands by these changes and delays, stating that the visual improvements will be well worth the wait to consumers.
According to Pimax, the parts for the current prototype will be received in May. at this time, the company will be able to finalize the pre-production M1 headsets and distribute them to preselected beta testers. These testers have been established in the VR world, and may have already completed professional reviews of different VR hardware. However, until this phase of product testing is completed, the final headsets will not be made available to the public. Once testing is completed, Pimax will be able to announce the official release date for waiting consumers.
Because the company has already had five different prototypes, and has stated they have done three different design changes on the lenses themselves, the specs for the Pimax 8K headset is still a little unclear. There are some things that Pimax has promised of the 8K headset, including a field of view of 200 degrees as well as two 4K panels for viewing. The headset will be able to hook into SteamVR tracking, and an 80Hz refreshing rate.
One thing is certain. These updates are costly for the company, and can range from $50K to $100K per an update to the prototype. It also costs the company weeks in delays for each update, while Pimax has to wait for new tooling to be created with each change. Pimax has also sought out Series A funding close to $15 million. While it is not believed to have cost this much to develop the current prototype, it is believed to allow enough of a cushion for Pimax to make any final adjustments recommended by the Beta testers before being launched to consumers.
Pimax has already successfully launched the 4K headset to consumers, so the announcement of the coming 8K headset was anticipated. However, the number of delays was not something consumers had expected. Some of these delays were a result of feedback given to Pimax at CES 2018. Some were issues related to vending. Others were related to the redesign process timeline. Even so, both Beta testers and consumers are anxiously waiting to hear the official word from Pimax as to when the pre-production headsets will be shipped.
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