So I wanted to share my experience with Pimax 8k after almost a month using it, since i keep seeing a lot of questions around, and maybe it could help, this is my original review for reference: https://forum.pimaxvr.com/t/backer-72-8k-day-one-review/
Adapting to Pimax issues
So actually Pimax 8k makes a somehow mixed first impression, from the first second you can see the benefits (nearly invisible SDE, higher res, huge FOV) and the cons (terrible brightness, washed out colors, side distortion), and the first question is, wil, I adapt to all the cons?.
The answer is absolutely afirmative. One month later I barely care at all about lower brightness, to the point that if Pimax adds brightness controls, I may consider not even increasing it if it makes tracking worse (since it was mentioned some time ago that Pimax chose to lower brightness due to taking too much energy and worsening tracking). Colors are ok for me now, it’s like moving from the warm color setting of a TV to cold setting, it somehow looks a bit more realistic, and once in game it really doesn’t detract much if at all.
Now blacks can be a bit of a problem on some extremely dark games, since it looks like some games were designed for OLED screens and Pimax suffers here. I’ve been playing Edge of Nowhere, which has very dark caves, and at times is hard to see anything, were probably on OLED screens it has a lot more viewable detail (i’m just guessing, maybe someone who has played it on Oculus/Vive can tell me if caves are supposed to be that hard to see). Now if this is 8k, I wonder how 5k looks in this same case scenario.
What I’m really surprised is how much have I adapted to the side distortion. I always use “normal” FOV and I swear most of the time I just don’t notice it at all where it was incredibly noticiable on day one, to the point that sometimes i have to check it’s still there and I’m not using the small FOV setting and yeah, it is there if you look for it.
The only problem with the big FOV now is that there’s no going back. Right now I’m playing Torn which is mindblowing with the Pimax, and trying to get better performance I chose small FOV, and it took me a minute to think “LOL, nope” and going back to normal FOV while lowering other settings. Considering small FOV is still better than Vive and Oculus, I can’t imagine how awful going back to Vive FOV would be.
I have to say that with two LHs tracking is rock solid, even better than Vive. With Vive sometimes there had to be some kind of occlussion in my Vive room since i lost tracking for a few instants from time to time, i’m yet to have any issues with Pimax on 1.0 LHs.
SDE vs sharpness
In the eternal debate of SDE vs sharpness, right now i’m happy that I chose 8k. In some games like Torn SDE is simply not an issue any more, 99% of the time you don’t notice it, and I’m the biggest SDE hater you can imagine (I even stopped using Vive since I just couldn’t enjoy games with it) , however in games like Lucky’s Tale with bright colors and plain textures, SDE is still there and you notice it, which means that if it’s still a bit annoying in the 8k, it has to be worse on 5k, so I’m happy I chose 8k for that reason.
People say that 8k has a sharpness problem compared to 5k+, but i tend to disagree, even though I don’t have a 5k+ to compare. IMHO 8k doesn’t have a sharpness issue, it has a performance issue. Once you pump up SS on PiTool and Steam, 8K has a perfectly acceptable sharpness, but then you move and it’s all jittery.
Many times I wished I could get some people to show them some amazing scenes in Torn or Lucky’s Tale on the 8k and ask them: “now do you seriously think this is not sharp enough?”. So maybe 5k+ is sharper, but i gladly pay the price of better SDE for less sharpness at this level, and if at some point Pimax achieves some mode of reproyection or smooth rendering, 8k is going to be awesome.
The only problem with the SDE is that even though the pixel structure is almost invisible to me since it’s nearly impossible to see the pixels, it’s basically a mesh of barely discernible dots, EXCEPT on text for some reason. There you can slightly see it’s structure, but it’s still not an issue for me in terms of readibility, so if you care a lot for text 8k may not be for you, in my case I’m not a simmer and 99% of the games I play have huge text interfaces and most of the time there’s no text on the screen while playing, so i’m perfectly fine with the 8k.
What I want to make it clear is that text is not bad on the 8k, it’s actually really good, but if you’re nitpicking with visible pixel structure on text, yep, i think you can see it.
Setting up games
Once you’re used to it, it’s not a big deal, just find the sweet spot between PiTool SS, Steam SS and in game settings, it would take you ten minutes max to find the best settings, and I don’t mind it much, i hope Pimax gives priority to other stuff like lowering HZ and improving performance.
Is it worth it?
After one month I have to say i’m loving VR again, where I had my Vive taking dust since I couldn’t bare the SDE and low FOV, now during this month I’ve already finished Super Hot and Lucky’s Tale, nearly finished Edge of Nowhere and Torn, enjoyed some retro gaming on Neon Retro Arcade and watched a ton of stuff like The Great C, Age of Sail, etc.
While playing Torn, I could only think that if Pimax could do something so that you can pump up SS more, I would gladly skip whatever 2nd gen is coming and wait for 3rd gen headset, and only getting Knuckles controllers to improve hand tracking. Immersion and presence is through the roof, some of those Torn rooms look almost real to me, and even though actually Vive FOV didn’t annoy me that much, to have almost your full FOV covered on normal FOV adds incredibly to the immersion.
There you go, I hope it helped, sorry for the wall of text.
TLDR: Pimax doesn’t make the best first impression, but one month later I have adapted to all it’s issues and it really feels like it’s a 2nd gen headset in terms of incredibly improved immersion and presence.