As a Pimax 8K backer, daily Vive/Rift user and YouTube VR content creator, many people have been asking me about my opinion concerning the latest Pimax 8K v5 prototype recently shown up on CES 2018, and its "mixed reviews". So here we go:
I have not tried the v5 prototype so I cant give you my own conclusion about it's functionality, but those "bad" reviews sounds a bit confusing to be honest. I tried the v2 prototype at VR Days as you may know if you seen my Pimax 8K v2 hands-on review, and I was extremely positive about it overall. Not because I'm a backer. Not because I'm intending to hype up this product for no reason or to simply justify my money spent. - But because what I saw, what I felt and experienced trying the v2 was WAY above my expectations. The VR image had simply no flaws, no tracking issues. no distortion, no stretching, FOV was fantastic, resolution even better than the MR headsets and I got simply blown away. And as I've said already, NOT because I backed 2 units on Kickstarter and being backer number 2, but only because I felt this IS the VR headset we all have been waiting for. Simple as that.
Now, hearing some of the negative opinions and reviews about the v5 prototype, I'm starting to wonder if the new optics has screwed up something that worked great before, or if the people that tested v5 really tells you the whole truth. It may be the optics (lenses), who knows, but something is definitely not adding up here. I have really a hard time to believe a v5 prototype can be so "bad" when the v2 was so great. I couldn't find one person on VRDays having anything bad to say about the v2.
Last weeks, I have been quite busy so I'm not fully updated at this moment, but reading some recent inputs from the Pimax team during CES, they stated they are trying out some new lens technique in v5 (correct me if Im wrong), and IF the new prototype isn't better, they will probably go back to the previous model we had in v2/v3 or so and move on from there. So I wouldn't worry too much about the final product. Im 100% confident it will be the best VR hmd in 2018, as long as it can provide the same level of quality of what I personally experienced with the v2 prototype, or hopefully even better.
As for some "big website" reviewers just like RoadToVR and others not being happy with the v5:
With all the respect from my side, I appreciate their content and effort, and I wont say they are wrong. But please don't forget big websites are often (not all but apparently most of them) sponsored sites/channels. Sponsored NOT by small Chinese companies like Pimax. They are usually sponsored by the "big guys" currently competing in the VR industry (you know who) and their smaller partners. And therefore they MAY also be a bit influenced by those brands and their headsets. I have seen a huge amount of negativity and skepticism around the Pimax 8K headset on mostly big channels already from start and still as of today. Also in some VLOGS, Twitter feeds, websites and posts made by "big people in the VR industry". I'm actually not surprised, let me explain why:
You will probably love me of hate me now, but I'm going to be fully honest as always, just because I'm a non-sponsored and 100% independent customer: For many of the big companies, the VR industry is all about money and competition. And Pimax, being a small Chinese competitor, is not a part of the big cake to be shared by investors, big companies and so called "VR influencers". At least not yet. Sponsored people don't profit from hyping up Pimax just like they use to with other brands. Especially now when the competition grows with new VR headsets and brands coming out almost every month. Money talks, and positive advertisement makes the money grow further. Let's not forget that.
As for me, I seriously don't care about what brand I use, whenever its HTC, Oculus, Facebook, Pimax or even a random no-name Taiwanese brand. As long as the company can provide me the best VR experience for a reasonable amount of money (no I never get any headsets for free) - then Im happy.
And this is what made me love Pimax 8K from start. Kickstarter price was good, and performance in v2 was better than any other existing VR headset I have tried so far.
Im a VR admirer, I use Vive & Rift daily, I love VR immersion and I run a small YouTube channel just for fun. I hardly make coffee money from doing videos, and I couldn't care less. Compared to most others, I have NEVER asked for a dollar, nor received any money to make some video or review. I spend 10 times more money on VR & PC hardware than I will ever earn from my videos. So if you ever think my Pimax 8K hands-on review was "biased" by Pimax, please give it a second thought...
I really appreciate what Pimax is doing and creating here, and I love their way of communicating with us during the development, even if they actually don't need to. No other company ever takes the time to reply customers in a forum or let them decide what features the headset should offer. I'm really thankful for that, and I think its the right way to go.
But in the end, I just want the best possible VR immersion with great FOV and resolution, and as far as I can see, Pimax 8K is the only VR enthusiast headset for now having the potential to make my dreams come true.
As of today, I can't wait until I get hands on my Pimax 8K. Im sure it will be a great product. It may unfortunately be delayed a few months, but it will be released eventually and no, they wont release a non-finished product. They know what they are doing.
And yes, I will definitely buy HTC Vive Pro as well. Just because I "want it all".
But I also know, that once I step into 200 FOV and 4K resolution with Pimax 8K, I will never go back. That's for sure!
Thanks for taking your time reading all this, and let me know your thoughts.