Pimax gave us an update on the progress of its Pimax Crystal range, and wow, wow, wow that’s a lot. Get ready – it’s about to look very real here.
During their weirdly named “Launch Event” (it’s not a launch if you can’t buy the product, folks…) we got an in-depth look at the device, including an amazing comparison in the lens looks what the 35 ppd (Pixels per degree). More than that, they also showcased the new way they approached making an entirely new lens. Moving away from Fresnel lenses, the team is moving to a glass injection molded version that will allow them to apply multiple layers of coating to push detail to an incredibly high level.
In a surprise twist, the Pimax team is including two sets of lenses with the Crystal – a 35 and 42 PPD set that can be applied with a new magnetic lock system. Instead of the screws we saw last time, these can now snap in and swap out easily. The coating on these new lenses also means you can safely remove and clean them with a cloth cleaning pad, then put them back on.
Beyond the lenses (which, honestly, you should watch the presentation – there’s a lot I’m abbreviating here), the team also announced plenty of advanced features for the headset. An IPD auto-tuning system using eye and face tracking (part of the foveal rendering system), a new hot-swappable 6000mAh power supply that locks to the back of the band as a source counterweight power supply, an all new set of speakers that supports DTS, a new controller very similar to the Quest controllers, and an all new profile – the headset feels about as wide as any other headset on the market, while maintaining the wide field of view that Pimax is known for.
If you’ve put on a VR headset, you know all about light blooming, especially around white lighting. Pimax is tackling this problem with an all-new “local dimming technology”, allowing the headset to utilize HDR without all of the light loss we see in literally every other headset.
Kevin Henderson, Pimax USA COO, also took to the virtual stage to announce that the team is ready for new regional support, starting with the United States and then expanding to other regions at the future. This marks a next step for Pimax as they strive to focus on customer service and quality, with a local support center being the backbone of this effort. This should mean good things for new customers and repeat customers.
One of the main selling points of the Crystal is that it can work as a standalone headset or connect to a PC for PCVR. Using a button on the side, the headset switches between the two modes. They also casually announced that you can use DisplayPort 1.4, or a brand new fiber optic cable, although we’re light on the details. If you don’t like cables, the team also announced full WiFi6E support. I can’t wait to fly hands free.
The presentation is 19 minutes long and includes a lot of additional information that I haven’t covered here, including replaceable faceplates, a new small form factor PC bundle, and some store updates. If you have even a passing interest in VR, you’ll want to see these comparison images in the lens.
The most surprising revelation came at the end when the team announced that they had managed to achieve new efficiencies with the production of the helmet. As such, they’ve managed to lower their production costs, and as such, they’re fetching $300 less than their original price, with Pimaxians receiving $100 for owning an older HMD.
No release date on the Pimax Crystal or 12K version yet, but the team is excited to be around 70% complete, with an update in the very immediate future. Pre-orders go live at 4:00 PM CST, so get ready to go!
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