Pimax 8K Kickstarter Backers Probably Won’t Get Headsets Next Month

Pimax revealed its plans for CES 2018, and the update indicates that Kickstarter backers shouldn’t expect to have a headset in their hands in January. The company’s current roadmap pins the production schedule for the spring.

In September, Pimax launched a Kickstarter campaign for an ambitious “8K” VR headset. The Pimax 8K would feature dual 4K low-persistence displays that operate at up to 90Hz and provide a 200-degree FOV. The Pimax 8K headset also supports Steam VR Tracking and offers interoperability with HTC Vive controllers and base stations. Pimax is also developing a range of accessories for the headset.

The Pimax 8K’s combination of high resolution, high FOV, and compatibility with Valve’s proven Steam VR technology struck the right chord in the VR market, and the company smashed its campaign goal in a matter of hours. Pimax originally hoped to bring in $200,000 and ended up with over $4.2 million from 5946 backers.

As part of the Kickstarter deal, Pimax said that it would ship the first batch of Pimax 8K headset in January. We thought the delivery schedule might be too ambitious, and it now it appears we may have been right. Pimax released a development update about the Pimax 8K headset and revealed its plans for CES 2018, both of which suggest that the company won’t be fulfilling orders in January.

Pimax said that it would be presenting the fifth prototype model, not a production-ready headset, at the next Consumer Electronics Show. The company said that it would be taking feedback that it receives at CES into account for the final design.

Pimax said that the fifth edition prototype features an improved IPD adjustment system. The third edition, which we tried at Immersed 2017, didn’t include a functioning lens adjustment system. Pimax said the newest headset offers better heat dissipation than the previous model, and it is constructed of a stronger material than earlier prototypes, which could increase the weight of the headset. The new design also includes covers for Steam VR Tracking sensors.

Pimax is still in search of feedback, but that’s not the primary source of the production delay. The company promised dual 4K displays that can operate at 90Hz. However, it’s having difficulty achieving that goal. Pimax maintains that 90Hz is “theoretically feasible,” but its current solution falls short. The company is “exploring a new hardware solution” and expects to have an answer in March.

Pimax said that it would still be possible to receive a headset in Q1, as it plans to send early headsets to a select group who can provide additional feedback and help weed out production issues before rolling out large quantities to backers. The company said that it prioritizes delivering a quality product over adhering to a projected production schedule.