8K VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift

The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are Getting Better

Pimax 8K VR Headset Delivers Remarkable 200 Degree FOV, But With A Couple Sacrifices

image_20180819_021604_321The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift could both use sharper displays and a wider field of view (FOV). Technology company Pimax expects to overcome these difficulties with its 8K VR headset, which comprises two 3840×2160 panels for a joint 16.6 million pixels. This is much sharper than the Rift and Vive, which use 2160×1200-resolution screens. Pimax also ups FOV to 200 degrees, which is approximately double that of the Rift and Vive. In many ways, the headset accomplishes its lofty objectives, but it does make other technical tradeoffs in its present Kickstarter state.

Since 8K is so graphically demanding, Pimax’s VR headset has an integrated scaler which upscales 4K content to 8K. However, this requires plenty of bandwidth, so the head-mounted display (HMD) requires two DisplayPort connections. This is in stark contrast to the Vive and Rift, which require a single HDMI cable.

Pimax will also use Valve’s lighthouse tracking technologies. The business indicates that its HMD will work with any SteamVR match consequently. Pimax says it’s hoping to integrate games from Oculus’ shop onto its stage also, but has yet to receive approval.

I tried underwater presentation theBlu and Fruit Ninja VR on the 8K headset with a gaming notebook that had a GTX 1080, which performs more similarly to a desktop-class GTX 1070. The HMD uses curved optics to encompass the majority of your FOV, and it works well, for the most part, covering almost all of my horizontal and vertical vision. Concerning image clarity, I did not detect any undesirable screen-door effect, and it was hard for me to discern any pixels in the limited time I had with it.

In its present condition, the Pimax headset does have some problems. Where the Rift and Vive use an OLED panel, the Pimax headset uses an LCD one, meaning it lacks contrast. Its black levels do not seem as dark as they do on the other HMDs, and its colours also aren’t as vibrant. {There is also distortion on the outer edges of your peripheral vision. |} Pimax states that this is a software issue that will be tweaked before launch.

One significant problem with earning at such a high resolution is that it may be quite graphically demanding on hardware. While the HMD is capable of running in 90Hz, such as the Rift and Vive, Pimax informs me that functionality was hovering at the 80 FPS range. This is problematic because reduced and much more inconsistent frame rates may result in motion sickness. The business is hoping that more powerful graphics cards will relieve these performance problems in the coming months and years. Regardless, after taking off the headset, I felt slightly cross-eyed. This may be because the current construct of this headset doesn’t let you physically adjust the interpupillary distance (IPD) involving its lenses, but Pimax tells me that the last version will include this attribute.

When it comes to ergonomics, the headset felt lighter than the Vive, and Pimax claims it is going to be on par with the Oculus Rift’s burden at one pound. It utilizes a decorative interface foam and head straps which are most similar to the inventory HTC Vive ones. It does not include headphones, but Pimax claims that there’ll be an optional sound strap which looks something like HTC’s Deluxe Audio Strap, with the ergonomics of Sony’s PlayStation VR headset.

Besides this audio attachment, Pimax asserts that its HMD will encourage a huge variety of accessories. One of these is one which will eventually enable the headset to become wireless, which the company is aiming to launch in July 2018. There’ll also be attachments which have fans to keep customers cool, eye trackers, and hand trackers. I had an opportunity to check out the prototype hand tracker, which functions similarly to the Leap Motion and does an excellent job at monitoring your fingers, although it only tracks your palms if they are in front of your head. Additionally, its precision was slightly off since it seemed like my virtual hands were marginally higher than my actual ones. Pimax says this may be a configuration issue, as I didn’t undergo the entire setup procedure.

The standalone 8K headset, which will work with Valve’s present Lighthouse trackers and controls, starts at $499 if you back it today on Kickstarter. If you want the entire package with Pimax’s own forthcoming lighthouses and controls, it is going to cost you $799. The headset is on schedule to ship in January for Kickstarter backers.