We have been working with M1 testers to improve the product for almost two months and over 400 games tested, the community contributed to the beta testing a lot as well. http://forum.pimaxvr.com/t/how-to-contribute-to-the-closed-beta/7173
As planned, we are assembling the 2nd batch of ~230 M2 (improved M1). The process goes smoothly.
On August, we plan to bring M2 to offline backer meetups to learn from your thoughts.
What we will do during the meetups:
Demo the potential of 8K with recommended graphics cards and games;
Compare 8K directly with other VR headsets;
Show you how to adjust settings on PiTool to reach the best experience;
Collect your requirements and suggestions;
Answer your questions face to face.
When confirmed, the time and location of the meetups will be updated via Kickstarter.
Thanks to the hard work of testers and the team, the experience has been largely improved.
Here are some of the issues you concern about:
Performance has been improved by 30% - 40% for new games, including Unreal 4.18 or later, most Unity games, and Oculus 1.17 or later. We will share a list of games we have tested so far.
GTX 1070 is the minimum graphics cards that we can run 8K with, however, GTX1070 cannot utilize the full potential of Pimax 8K.
We have integrated different FOV options in PiTool for users to choose from. 1070 users would use smaller FOV before upgrading graphics cards.
Worth to mention that, with GTX 1070, 5K performs better than 8K. For those who are not planning to upgrade the graphics cards, we will provide you options to exchange your 8K for 5K + accessories.
Another good news is that the next-generation graphics cards and VR technology are around the corner. We cannot disclose details, but you can find relevant information online.
2. Distortions on the edge of the big FOV
With large FOV, it is hard to find the "one fits all" algorithm.
The distortion would be the result of several possible factors, including different FOV options, IPD, myopia/hyperopia, and the different distance between eyes and lenses. This is not an issue with small FOV headsets, but an issue with big FOV headsets.
With the most recent PiTool version .61, we have improved the lens correction profiles significantly. Previously the equipment can only measure up to 120 degrees, the engineers rely on subjective estimations to correct the distortions beyond the 120 FOV range.
Now we have the new equipment that supports 190 FOV test, it definitely will help the engineers to test and correct the distortions at the edge, the accuracy will be largely improved.
Whatsmore, we plan to offer several settings for users to find their best fit. More information will be shared later.
3. Consumer software and UX
We are working with testers to speed up iterations, we have resolved most of the issues identified by the testers.
When key issues resolved, we plan to allocate more resources to improve UX/UI, and share the improved PiTool with you to collect feedback and localization support. We plan to open the UX/UI/Localization projects to the community and provide rewards for top contributors. We believe the UX/UI will be largely improved with time and efforts from Pimax team and the community.
As business clients do not require perfect software / UX, and they usually only adopt one type of PC for each scenario, we can meet their expectations already. We have received enough business orders and have reached a consensus with our clients:
"Backers come first, business clients second."
By that saying, we will move on with the mass production, if some backers prefer to wait until consumer software maturity, we can still deliver the prepared units to business clients.
Will the M2 in the meetups the same units with those the testers are testing with?
M2 = improved M1. M2 is exactly the result of the join effort of Pimax team, testers, and the community.
Do the backer meetups mean the end of closed beta or the embargo is about to lift?
No, the closed beta will keep going and the embargo will not be lifted until ready. However, no NDA required for the small-scale, private, backer-only meetups. Testers can express their impressions as backers, but in-depth reviews will be reserved until embargo lifted.
What's the difference in terms of purpose between backer meetups and M1 closed beta?
Testers are the backers nominated by the community. The whole purpose of the closed beta is for testers to give M1 in-depth testing and high-quality feedback.
We are working with testers to keep improving software and user experience for consumers, many details are subject to change. Thus, we will not offer closed review during backer meetups.
The purpose of backer meetups is to bring backers the optimized M1 headset, demo the potential of 8K, and learn your preferences about shipping, and anything we haven't considered.
- Will backer meetups impact the mass production and shipping progress?
It won't. As planned, we are producing around 230 units, there will be around 700 one month later, and scale up progressively.
(previous plan on tracking)
During the backer meetups, you can let us know, in person or by email, whether you are willing to receive earlier even when the software still need time to reach the consumer level.
It is possible backers prefer to wait until consumer software and user experience improved. In case there are headsets left, we will ship the units to our business clients.
We have business orders of thousands of headsets and our business clients are very nice and agreed on taking care of any unit left.
Before the ID fixed, we will make minor tweaks in the appearance, so you can tell the difference between the two versions.
With the following updates, we will address the following questions:
What exactly improved on M2 when comparing with M1;
Game list we have tested;
The time and location of the backer meetups and how to participate;
When and how to let us know if you want to receive your units earlier even if the software still needs to improve to reach the consumer level;
Detailed testing reports when the M1 closed beta ends;
Based on our internal testing and other feedback, we are confident that once tried 8K, it will be hard for you to get used to old generation headsets anymore. We won't let our backers disappointed. Thanks for your patience and support!
The Pimax Team
Further questions from the community:
Is the M2 unit's hardware final?
M2 is the improved M1. Before shipping, we will share the complete product status with you.
Can you confirm that the 230 - 700 - 2000 units manufactured are per month figures?
Those are different batches, but not necessarily the monthly yield.
The next batch will be ~700 one month later, and scale up.
If the backer meetups won't have NDA, why not drop the NDA for the testers as well?
Even though for the meetups there will be general impressions, the testers have accumulated hundreds of hours playing different games with different graphics cards.
Please stay tuned for the in-depth reviews from testers.
Those first 230 units as well as the next batches; will they be shipped as soon as completed?
We will ship M2 to testers asap, so they can make comparisons with M1 and keep on testing.
Please explain why the 5K would have better performance than the 8K with GTX1070?
A: rendering at 6K or 8K, then downscale to 5K, and finally 5K upscale to 8K.
B: rendering at 5K, then 5K upscale to 8K.
The visual quality with the rendering path A looks much better than B.
that's why the supersampling works well & with 1070 graphics cards, 5K performs better than 8K.
Any update on the accessories?
We will cover the topic in the following updates.
When will the 8K be put up for pre-order?
We don't have a date yet, but will update asap.