TL;DR: Increased FOV is a game-changer! Reduced SDE is very nice. Still some issues like edge distortions and colors not perfect. Overall this feels like the next generation when it comes to consuming adult content.
Pre-ordered the Vive back in the day and have been using it for porn since the early days when Virtual Real Porn was the top site. Have mainly used it for adult content and probably spent 3-400 hours on it. Have not tried any other headsets than the Vive and Oculus DK1 and 2. I am using Whirlygig and a 1080Ti. Using normal FOV (150deg) on the Pimax as this seems to work best for me. Used the Vive the day before the Pimax arrived so I would have fresh memories to compare it to. While testing I tried a variety of scenes from several different studios from VrBangers 6k videos to old school HologirlsVR and NA fisheye. I have not yet started to play around with any settings so it is possible that image quality can be improved further from my testing.
Started by loading up a CzechVR movie. Was immediately struck by the larger FOV. Everything felt more open and I felt more like I was actually there than I was used to. I thought colors looked nice and natural. SDE was still visible especially on stuff that was happening far away, but much improved from the Vive. Easy to forget about SDE on everything that was up close. By focusing at the edges I could certainly see some distortions. As the movie progressed the pros of the larger FOV became even more apparent. Having both the girls face and pussy in the FOV at the same time made the experience a lot better.
To get a more in depth look at things I quickly switched to the Vive and then back again to get a more scientific side by side comparison. Initially I thought the colors on the Pimax were very nice and natural, but when I switched to the Vive I really noticed how much brighter and richer the colors on the Vive were. I was a bit surprised here as I would never have guessed the difference would be that large just looking at the Pimax. The colors on the Vive might actually be a bit too bright, but there is certainly a lot of improvement possible here for the Pimax. Good news is obviously that at least for me the brain seems to adapt nicely to the colors and unless you do side by side comparison it is easy to accept the colors the way they are.
Going back to the Vive I almost had to laugh. It just seemed horrible and I started to think something was actually wrong with the Vive. Felt like I was watching everything through a toilet paper roll. The improvements here are so large you have to say this is a generational improvement. I do not think it will be possible for me to use the Vive again after trying the Pimax. In scenes with one girl the increase in vertical FOV is most important as it often makes it possible to view both face and pussy by just looking around and not having to move your head around. In scenes with multiple girls the increase in horizontal FOV also makes the scenes a lot better. Increased FOV makes more of a difference for watching porn than I had expected, and there is no way I will ever buy a headset without a large FOV again.
I have to mention the distortions along the edges. It is very visible if you look for it and especially when you move your head back and forth. Good news for porn viewing is that you usually focus on the action in the center and with the huge FOV it is not necessary to move your head around a lot. It is still a bit annoying and something I really hope can be fixed in future headsets. However if some distortions is the price you have to pay for a large FOV I would take it all day.
Huge difference here as well. Even though you can still see pixels especially on bright objects that are far away, it is much much better than the Vive. Going from Pimax to Vive I really noticed the pixels and the entire image on the Vive seemed rough. Objects that were far away were just a mess of pixels on the Vive, and while pixels were visible on the Pimax the stuff in the distance was a lot more clear. When the action is up close it is very easy to forget and not notice the pixels on the Pimax. Still room for improvements in the future, but I am very pleased with the reduction going from the Vive.
Godrays and glare
Huge improvement from the Vive. Godrays and glare from high contrast stuff is much improved. Yes you can still notice it in extreme cases, like white text on black background, but it does not ruin the image. Very happy with this.
Watching 2D movies
Finally I tried watching some standard 2D 1080p movies in Whirlygig which makes it look like a big screen in a totally dark room. I have also tried this on the Vive before, but on the Vive I never felt the image quality was good enough to enjoy. Though the image still does not look as good as on my 1080p projector, it looks a lot better and I definitely think it is good enough that I will use it to watch more 2D stuff in the future.
Headset is light and easy to wear for long times. Feels better than my Vive (original strap) and also seems to not get as hot as the Vive. Lenses have a large sweet spot that makes the image clear even though you do not put the headset in the perfect position.
Comparison between studios
In this part I will talk a little bit about the different studios and the technical aspects of their scenes.
Not surprisingly higher resolution makes the image better and it seems it is even more important in Pimax. The difference between high and low resolution is more apparent and I think I will mostly watch 5k and 6k stuff. I guess 4k is also fine, but image quickly starts to get very blurry when resolution is reduced. Would be really interesting to test resolution higher than 6k to see if there are further improvements. Maybe some settings could help here, but I am no expert.
180 vs. 360 FOV
Tried a few 360deg movies. With the increased FOV of the headset it is very nice to not have any borders. However at this point, with current resolutions I do not think the trade off between image quality that usually happens when you go 360deg is worth it. When 180deg is actually 180 (more about this below) I think it is good enough and what I will continue to prefer.
Boarders, bubbles and logos, STUDIOS PLEASE READ!!
This is a very important for the experience. What does the studios do with the edges of the videos. The videos that are full 180 degrees are very nice to watch and no problem. However a lot of studios produce videos with large bubbles at each side of the image. Take one of my favorite studios; CzechVR, they have a surprisingly low horizontal FOV. In normal FOV when looking straight ahead you can just see the black border on each side so their horizontal FOV is only 150 degrees. I do not think this is as huge a problem as it sounds and I will certainly continue to enjoy their videos, but they should try to work on this as high FOV headsets are certainly the future.
As mentioned above just having a black bubble at the edge really is not that bad and immersion breaking as I thought it might have been, however the real problem is when studios put their logo or name on the bubble. Especially if it is big and/or has a lot of white/bright colors in it. I also think text is worse than just a logo as your brain thinks “WTF is that text doing there” while a logo could just be part of the environment.
Some studios are very bad at this. The worst studio was DDF network. Huge white text on the black edge just made the videos unwatchable. They really need to fix this. TmwVRnet and Virtual Taboo were also pretty bad, almost completely ruining their videos. Also in one video I watched the studio had made the entire bubble white which was very very bad. I don’t remember which studio and I think it was a really old video. Really hope no studio today makes this mistake.
To sum up: the only acceptable way of handling the edge bubbles is to just make it plain black if it is not possible to make the video full 180 degrees. Doing anything else will ruin your videos for use with high FOV headsets.
Pimax 8k is great for watching porn. The high FOV has a huge impact on the experience and even though there are issues the jump from the original Vive is so huge you have to call this a new generation and game-changer. If you consume a lot of porn in VR and have the money to spend I highly recommend this headset and I am very happy I got it.