Pimax 8K Progress [Updated: Feb 6, 2018]


I would say yes & know. On VR as a whole yes HTC & Samsung are in competition. However pimax ultra-wide fov; it has no competition save expensive non-consumer headsets. The others are still using the basic tunnel scuba mask fov. It surprising that neither even bumped it to between 140 - 160 would have made it more direct competition.

The same its interesting Acer is sitting in the bush with their basic low end WMR headset. When as they are they the majority owner now of StarVR; it’s curious why they released such a meager product.


[quote=“Heliosurge, post:437, topic:5124”]
it’s curious why they released such a meager product.[/quote]
It’s a mass market product. Price matters a lot and so does the need for a high end video card to support higher res. Cheaper == more units sold.


So then why wouldn’t they release 2 versions? Cheap as in cheap price & cheaply made at the standard 100 to 110 fov & a 2nd mid tier 140 to 160 fov with even dual 16801050 to 19201200 screens & price mid to high like samsung?

In general Acer over the years is not known for high quality products.


[quote=“Heliosurge, post:439, topic:5124”]
In general Acer over the years is not known for high quality products.[/quote]
Because no one would buy a high-price low-quality high-res VR headset from Acer?

I don’t know. It seems like all the VR manufacturers (except Pimax) are ignoring customers like me. Someone who won’t accept the current state of VR. I have the feeling that I’d be waiting years, if it weren’t for Pimax. That’s one of the reasons I’m willing to wait a few extra months for Pimax to release a good headset.


True but piggybacking on StarVR as the mfgr would help give them the cred needed & the research already paid for. :relieved:


Starvr turned out to be a big dissapointment. Their hmd looks good but many walk away dissapointed after trying it.

Pimax really is the only one pushing vr further this year. Giving a good bump in resolution and huge fov. What i have been dreaming of ever sindse i put my vive on for the first time…

Vive pro is a joke. Slight res bump and thats it… Nothing significant. But they are doing one hell of a job promoting the damn thing… The fact we STILL don’t know the price makes me furious.

The only thing i am scared of is the pimax software. Many say it is rubbish with the 4k.
I wonder if we will be able to plug the 8k in, start steamvr and go!.. Or if we will be forced to start their piplay or whatever it’s called…
@xunshu. ?


@sjefdeklerk might be able to answer. In earlier version he was launxhing the pi server but the program structure has changed i believe since then.

Since version 2.x the interface is pretty good. But you csn close it since thers is a tray Pi service.


Well the thing is that SteamVR is getting properties from the HMD driver, for example the HMD’s resolution. In the piplay software you can change the resolution from 1080p to 1440p. How this effectively works is that the SteamVR driver communicates with pimax executables like the piplay software (so effectively SteamVR communicates with the piplay executables via the HMD driver). It also sends the new configuration properties to the HMD itself. So this whole system makes it easy to change HMD properties on the fly. If you’d remove all that, sure, you could login but you wouldn’t be able to change all that easily on the fly.

Another function it has is change all the HMD properties so that it can emulate an Oculus HMD and/or ‘native mode’.

So in short, the system has been made with dynamically changing HMD properties in mind. However you do have a point. How often do you actually change HMD properties? I only set some things in the beginning and pretty much never change it after that. So there definitely is something to be said for a different piece of software, something that just changes properties on disk (and send them to the HMD itself) and let the SteamVR driver then load that file from disk. In that case you would only need to run that software when you change a property. If you’d just start SteamVR with the same properties like you did last time, you wouldn’t need to run the software, just start SteamVR and that’s it. So yeah there’s certainly a case to be made for that @xunshu @PimaxVR @PimaxSWD and now I think of it, I actually think this would improve the experience, because let’s face it, Piplay itself isn’t the most efficient software.


BTW like @Heliosurge noted, you can actually bypass the piplay sofware. I do this a lot myself because I only use SteamVR mode and I never change HMD properties and just like you I don’t like ‘piplay’ at all. So in that case, make sure all your piplay execs are down (piplay.exe piservice.exe and piserver.exe) and then just start piservice.exe. This is the executable that that SteamVR drivers communicates with (and this communicates also with piserver.exe which communicates with piplay.exe, but only if those are up and running). So if you just run piservice.exe then steamVR communicates with that and you’re good to go.

So what I do is make sure the HMD is in steamvr mode, that my properties are like the way I want them to be (resolution etc). I then ensure that none of the services actually autostart in windows and that piplay.exe also doesn’t auto start. Then I have a link to piservice.exe on my desktop. So when I start my PC, I just click that shortclick to piservice.exe and then I can run SteamVR. This smooths out the process a bit. And it has the added advantage that you can easily see in the piservice.exe ms-dos output if something went wrong. It’s a bit hackerish though :slight_smile:

Then again, also like @Heliosurge noted, I’m not even sure if it still works like this in the latest version. I’m still on v1.1.92 myself. I never liked V2.x with the custom Pimax HMD renderer, I still think the SteamVR renderer is superior. Anyway, this used to work on V2.x too like this but I haven’t tried v2.x for the last few months.


I don’t have the pimax 4k and never used piplay. so to me… That sounds very complicated.

If piplay doesn’t work flawlessly i can see that being an issue for the 8k headset, meaning it will be something people will associate the headset with and will complain about.

If people new to vr are supposed to figure all this out just to have a fast and easy way to start it up they won’t have a great experience. even if the software works flawlessly…
personally i would prefer being able to do as i do now with my vive. start pc, start steamvr, put headset on and go!

If piplay can emulate an oculus hmd why do we need revive then? it’s confusing.


Honestly I never cared for Oculus games but they did implement different driver structure after a certain version. So piplay out of the box can only run old Oculus games. After that they started implementing a direct driver structure. So before that the Oculus was just a 2nd monitor, that’s the old Oculus driver method, the one that piplay can emulate. The current Oculus driver doesn’t emulate a monitor anymore, this is what’s called ‘direct mode’ and piplay can’t emulate Oculus anymore in direct mode, I guess that’s where Revive comes in but I’ve never even tried it myself. So I ASSUME that what you do is run the pimax in SteamVR mode, then run revive and then you can play oculus games. But again, I’ve never tried it and this is just my speculation. Others probably can tell you more about it.


Doesn’t this multilayer approach of different overlays (piplay, steamvr, revive…) , running on top of each other penalize performance to some extent?..


Well like said I’ve never tried revive myself so don’t know about that. But regarding piplay and steamvr, no that doesn’t impact performance. Like said the whole idea behind piplay is to configure HMD properties on the fly, The rendering itself etc, that’s just done in the HMD driver itself, not in the piplay executables.


[quote=“mattforum, post:448, topic:5124, full:true”]
Doesn’t this multilayer approach of different overlays (piplay, steamvr, revive…) , running on top of each other penalize performance to some extent?..[/quote]
I would think so, but it’s likely to not be noticeable.

It depends on the overhead, but the overhead is probably low, since VR needs to be fast. The communication between software layers is probably limited to stuff like resolution, FOV, super-sampling amount, etc. and not used for the actual rasterization and data transfer, but that’s not based on my actual knowledge (just my background as someone who once wrote driver software for other devices (like scanners, printers, and mice).


It could however it might not. In Linux & Mac you can use WINE to run windows programs. WINE is an application layer & some programs run the same or better than running Natively under Windows.

And of course some don’t work well or at all for tge time being under WINE (Wine Is Not Emulater)


I do not run piplay on my 4k unless I need to change something on the device settings… I.e friend wants to try it and I need to change IPD… You can even change the IPD while playing a game!

So once the PiPlay software is installed you do not need to run the app.



If this product fails it’s because…

A.) They felt no urgency and lost their competitive advantage (somebody else WILL come along and release a SDE free high FoV headset, Pimax has shown since prototype 1 that this is a solvable problem).


B.) They got distracted (feature creep, controllers, etc…) instead of simply focusing on what makes this headset unique (no SDE and wide FoV).

When people say “take your time, don’t worry, nobody ships on time, it’s all good!” you are contributing to one of the above scenarios.


But let’s say they release the 8k and it turns out the tracking doesnt work well because of the specific material they’ve used to cover the sensors and that the IPD mechanism doesn’t work correctly. Then what? Basically you’d have an unusable HMD and you’d have to wait till probably 2020 for an alternative to hit the market. I don’t see the big guys releasing a wide FoV HMD this year, probably not even next year and I’m not aware of any competitor currently developing one for the gaming market. Pimax 8k is really our one shot.


Controllers are easy to make there is enough info that proves this so no feature creep there & modules are mainly 3rd party.

If the competition of which really at this moment there is none is not striving to improve FoV; the only company at present that has a sort of non consumer headset that could have rekeased something with improved fov is Acer as the owner of StarVR. But there interest is fast cash grab on a mediocre WMR headset.

So really until another mfgr releases something there is no real competition on the consumer market.


Then something went horribly horribly wrong. The issues you’re talking about are all solved problems (especially when you have millions of dollars to throw at them).

But something tells me that’s not what’s causing the delays.