Whether you think VR is dead in the water or not, Pimax are still pushing ahead in offering the industry's first 8K headset; a setup that should fix most of the problems first-gen VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have run into.
Now fully backed on Kickstarter, the Pimax 5K, 8K and 8K X headsets are full-steam ahead. Already demoing prototype hardware all over the world with numerous techy YouTube channels posting their thoughts on the product over the last few days, it looks we're only a winner - and the whole thing doesn't cost much more than a current-gen VR setup.
Based out in China, Pimax are flaunting the first true 8K VR headset, but there's some clever wording that seems to direct potential buyers to the lesser-resolution setup. With 3 different VR headsets on offer through their Kickstarter campaign, it should be noted that the Pimax 8K isn't 8K at all - it's two 4K screens per eye downsampled to 1440p. The Pimax 4K X, however, offers true 8K in the sense that the screens run at their native resolution - though you'll need to be rocking some serious PC power to run something like that.
Thanks to eager users snapping up headsets of all description through the Pimax Kickstarter, each version will now rock eye-tracking completely free - a feature neither of the current mainstream VR lineup offers. On top of that, a cooling fan and headphone strap (similar to the Oculus Rift) has also been thrown in on top of some undecided software freebies. While only a coupon, $100 off a Wireless Transmission module is interesting given wireless VR is still a relatively new (and expensive) commodity for current low-res headsets.
If you're alraedy rocking an HTC Vive headset, picking up this 'next-gen' hardware is probably quite tempting as it repurposes your current Lighthouse sensor and controllers; drastically reducing the cost of the purchase. For the rest, you can pick up a full package deal and a price similar to the HTC Vive bundle itself - yet enjoy a 5K display, far wider FOV and eye-tracking. Pimax are developing their own controllers, too, but prototypes have many similarities to a low-quality version of the current HTC Vive wands.
Expected to start shipping early next year, early reviews of prototype models suggest that while the expanded FOV and higher resolution really aids the VR experience, there's still work to be done. Whether the release on time without compromising the product is anyone's guess, but it's good to see a true 'next-gen' headset come to market. Let's just hope the final design isn't quite so... retro.