The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift might each use sharper screens and a wider subject of view (FOV). Technology firm Pimax hopes to beat these points with its 8K VR headset, which options two 3840×2160 panels for a mixed 16.6 million pixels. This is significantly sharper than the Rift and Vive, which each use 2160×1200-resolution screens. Pimax additionally ups FOV to 200 levels, which is roughly twice that of the Rift and Vive. In some ways, the headset achieves its lofty objectives, nevertheless it does make different technical tradeoffs in its present Kickstarter state.
Because 8K is so graphically demanding, Pimax’s VR headset has a built-in scalar that upscales 4K content material to 8K. However, this requires plenty of bandwidth, so the head-mounted show (HMD) requires two DisplayPort connections. This is in stark distinction to the Vive and Rift, which each require a single HDMI cable.
Pimax may also use Valve’s lighthouse monitoring know-how. The firm means that its HMD will work with any SteamVR recreation in consequence. Pimax says it is making an attempt to include games from Oculus’ retailer onto its platform as nicely, however has but to obtain approval.
I attempted underwater demo theBlu and Fruit Ninja VR on the 8K headset with a gaming laptop that had a GTX 1080, which performs extra equally to a desktop-class GTX 1070. The HMD makes use of curved optics to embody most of your FOV, and it really works properly for probably the most half, masking most of my horizontal and vertical imaginative and prescient. In phrases of picture readability, I didn’t discover any undesirable screen-door impact, and it was exhausting for me to discern any pixels from the restricted time I had with it.
In its present state, the Pimax headset does have some points. Where the Rift and Vive use an OLED panel, the Pimax headset makes use of an LCD one, which means it lacks distinction. Its black ranges don’t look as darkish as they do on the opposite HMDs, and its colours additionally aren’t as vibrant. There’s additionally distortion on the outer edges of your peripheral imaginative and prescient. Pimax says that this can be a software program concern that shall be tweaked earlier than launch.
One main situation with rendering at such a excessive decision is that it may be very graphically demanding on hardware. While the HMD is able to operating at 90Hz, just like the Rift and Vive, Pimax tells me that efficiency was hovering within the 80 FPS vary. This is problematic as a result of decrease and extra inconsistent body charges can result in movement illness. The firm is hoping that extra highly effective graphics playing cards will alleviate these efficiency points within the coming months and years. Regardless, after taking off the headset, I felt barely cross-eyed. This might be on account of the truth that the present construct of the headset doesn’t assist you to bodily modify the interpupillary distance (IPD) between its lenses, however Pimax tells me the ultimate model will embrace this function.
In phrases of ergonomics, the headset felt lighter than the Vive and Pimax says that it is going to be on par with the Oculus Rift’s weight at one pound. It makes use of a facial interface foam and head straps which might be most just like the inventory HTC Vive ones. It doesn’t include headphones, however Pimax says that there shall be an non-compulsory audio strap that appears one thing like HTC’s Deluxe Audio Strap, with the ergonomics of Sony’s PlayStation VR headset.
In addition to the audio attachment, Pimax asserts that its HMD will help all kinds of attachments. Among these is one that may ultimately permit the headset to turn into wi-fi, which the corporate is aiming to launch in July 2018. There may also be attachments that embrace followers to maintain customers cool, eye trackers, and hand trackers. I had an opportunity to check out the prototype hand tracker, which works equally to the Leap Motion and does an honest job at monitoring your fingers, although it solely tracks your arms in the event that they’re in entrance of your face. In addition, its accuracy was barely off because it seemed like my virtual palms have been barely larger than my actual ones. Pimax says this could be a configuration challenge, as I didn’t bear the complete setup course of.
The standalone 8K headset, which can work with Valve’s present Lighthouse trackers and controllers, begins at $499 in the event you again it now on Kickstarter. If you need the entire package deal with Pimax’s personal upcoming lighthouses and controllers, it’ll value you $799. The headset is on schedule to ship in January for Kickstarter backers.