Oh wow! So totally fake! Look at how VR companies really do CES demos and roadshows!

Oh wow! So totally fake! Look at how VR companies really do CES demos and roadshows!
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Clickbait sarcasm. Duh.

Pretty sure I have read this sort of suggestion in the forums more than once now.

Well, I was there, at CES, and the NYC roadshow event, and pretty well involved.

Everything about the optical performance of the 8kX with common desktop VR apps presented publicly at CES and roadshow was completely transparent. VR applications were not selected to give a good demo with the headset. DCS World, AeroflyFS2, Virtual Desktop, Elite Dangerous, Boneworks, and perhaps a couple much less impressive roomscale apps, were simply what was available to be tested and known to work at the time.

The demos are generally worse than what most experienced users will be able to achieve on their own for a variety of reasons, including vergence-accommodation conflict. I have made that point more than once already.

  1. There are not enough VR applications to pick and choose for fitness to a specific VR headset demo, rather than general relevance and public interest. DCS World, XPlane11, Elite Dangerous… among others… yup, they look about the same! Detailed PavlovVR maps, Onward, Alyx… yup, they look about the same! Distortions would be, and are, about equal with these categories.
  2. The VR industry itself is simply not large enough (as of 2020-05-17) to justify developing something just to demo a particular headset. Alyx itself is the closest thing there is to an exception - the reflex sight is unrealistically designed to look cool at the higher refresh rate of the Valve Index.
  3. The only optimizations specifically made for the 8kX were from my spreadsheets, applied after I arrived, and I had already made public. In-App settings, like MSAA, texture quality, etc, are all set to reasonable values, and could often be set higher without performance failures, which impressed many of the participants in the demos. The PiTool version used at the roadshow was nothing special, which should be abundantly clear since I have had every reason to upgrade to newer versions.

Primarily, the benefit of events like CES and the roadshow is to roughly provide potential users an idea of what to expect, far beyond what can be achieved from such things as Through-The-Lens footage and such. Secondarily, I think it may be a good opportunity to engage with the community and get some real-time feedback.

In fact, the CES and roadshow demos were far from perfect, but did serve these more realistic goals. Actually, the Pimax CES 2020 8kX demos were arguably awful. In particular, the flight sims were essentially noninteractive (no HOTAS controls), but users could seen how sharp the HUD text and instruments were. That was important. By the time of the roadshow, the flight sims were better setup with a real HOTAS, OVRDrop panels could be shown, and Elite Dangerous was available (which looks very impressive). However, in hindsight, even more could be done specifically for the 8kX, like a Snellen test.

With obviously only a few 8kX units even in existence at the time, it is ludicrous to suggest there was room to even seriously attempt any shady sleight-of-hand .

What is the real reason reviews of the headsets may go down a bit with more ‘hands on’ use after the show?

Simple. Even being one of the lucky few current Pimax users or IRL pilots to get a couple hours at an 8kX during CES or the roadshow, usually does not compare with actually having the headset for days to weeks. Then you get a much better impression of its capabilities, and where it falls short. Especially, you get to find out what you are involuntarily looking past - I did not notice the distortion on the 8kX until I specifically looked for it in roomscale apps. Because I usually have trained myself to ignore such things.

Since I have an 8kX, I would know that too.

This does not just apply to Pimax. It applies to every VR headset company using typical desktop PC VR apps at present.

Even the XTAL demo - which was super souped up on a very powerful delta-robot 6DOF motion simulator, had some significant issues, far from a ‘perfect demo’.

Finally, please do not misunderstand my tone. I am not at all angry, just exhaustively clarifying something that does not seem to have any mysteries to me.

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That’s the thing with demos. They are always made to be perfect. They pick a game which looks the best on their headset and make some graphical tweaks in the environment to hide things like the blur. This is kind of how Sebastian was wowed by the 8KX at CES but then noticed distortions later on.

Edit: Please see the post I made below that elaborates what I meant

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@dmel642 Total bogus.

Both are true as it depends on the company doing the demos to what is chosen. CES has had both types of demos free flowing and others whom use only content that shows off things in best light.

I can affirm that pimax during the KS did show titles that worked best on the prototypes at the time. But did also tried other titles that were in the library by requests of those at these shows. A lot worked at the time and some at the time would only crash during those very early days.

At the Berlin Backer meetup they ran just about any title available due to help of folks like @SweViver and I believe others.

Pimax in this regard is quite remarkable.

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The demos that only use such specialized content are not desktop VR headsets, but tech demos of things like light engines, or AR headsets. The flaws in these systems are usually identifiable at a quick glance if you know what to look for… Which was a huge benefit to me at CES 2020, because I could go through a lot of those tech demos so quickly… (one relevant short summary: AR diffractive optics improved incredibly from awful to near perfect in only a year)…

Sure there are a few apps like Elite Dangerous or DCS World that are particularly relevant to the 8kX, but they very well typify the experience of using that kind headset with flight sim apps as a whole.

Pimax in my experience has been lucky if they can bring enough staff and other resources to fully equip their demos. And I have been to their CES booth three years in a row…

Sure Xtal had some issues in their demo. However did they let you choose content? Not likely. Yes VR Tech companies do often at these shows run well tested content. Those who are very polished and confident will have a open variety. Where they may even let you log into your steam account to run something not on the menu.

Which is why pimax demos have often not been polished up like bigger players whom are practised in roadshow demos.

One of the events I helped Ru it was just her and I.

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XTAL chose DCS World with the FA18C in the Persian Gulf region. Don’t get me wrong, they have very smart people, and did let me try to help, but it that a very poor choice for their demo, I told them so, and they stuck with it.

And actually, I did bring up the DCS World Nevada map. It was very impressive, and much easier to see the quality of their headset without the double framing going on. That’s how I know their headset at least reads the FA18C AMPCD clearly like the 8kX does, which is maybe the single most definitive test of a high-res VR headset.

Also, wrong topic. >_>

EDIT: Also, the demand for the XTAL demo was extreme due to having a single headset demo, and the big motion sim setup. I don’t think they had much choice but to cycle users through the system as quickly as possible one after another.

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StarVR is not Xtal though nor pimax. Which is what we have been talking about. They have been very careful in whom they have chosen to sell/distribute this headset.

It is meant more for tailored experiences vs targeted for home users. Which is what they have made fairly clear.

So the demos last year were well vetted.

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StarVR is not Xtal though nor pimax.

And my understanding is the software compatibility side of their stuff is the reason their demos and such are so tailored. Not the hardware optics and such, or even things like the best distortion profile available.

My impression is that is what happens when you focus on a product volume even smaller than what Pimax manages - you don’t have the resources to work out the software compatibility side, which is notoriously much harder .

Not credible. This changed because having the headset for a while brings out its strengths and weaknesses much better than any demo.

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Very Credible. When your at a wow event with very little direct alone time it can be easy to miss things you notice later at home.

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Read the edits I made in my post to elaborate.
EDIT: I basically agreed with you. But what dmel642 said was that this difference was due to Pimax having ‘tailored’ their demo, which is bogus.

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Which is also what I pointed out. A convention is hardly a place to get a proper full evaluation.

As it has also been said the more you use a headset the more you get used to it’s flaws and notice them less.

However I am sure @VR-TECH would likely prefer us to get back on his topic of StarVR One vs this deviation.

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Sorry Matthew, I should have been more nuanced in my earlier post.

The only point I was trying to make is that typically, experiences in a controlled setting are better optimized than in a home environment. Something that applies to all VR headsets and technology in general.

I will say though that I appreciate how Pimax differs in some ways. They did let people try out other games at CES like Boneworks, etc. Obviously, the strengths of the 8KX is best showcased in flight and racing sims where the clarity and FOV makes a huge difference. Most people at CES and in the roadshows did not notice any distortions and I’m sure they won’t notice it at home either.

I believe Sebastian is simply more sensitive to this and that doing an A/B comparison with the Index made it stand out more.

Personally, I’m excited for the 8KX and I believe it will be a fantastic headset for the vast majority of people.

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That’s an understatement. Their demo was outright painful for most people and not at all ready for prime time. The sim itself looked great at a glance but just standing in line watching people who exited almost no-one said nice things and a bunch were physically sick.

I think they should have went with their older headset versions for CES.

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No need to apologize. Like I said, just clarifying.

My point was just that the VR industry is so immature right now, the desktop VR headset companies barely have enough margin to properly demo their awesome stuff, much less fudge anything.

Regarding distortions, I am seeing these in the 8kX. They are not a problem for most users, but I think Sebastian is not just sensitive to them, they are there, and do impact roomscale use somewhat. I will be addressing this in my next video.

@PimaxUSA Indeed. At the time, I wasn’t sure how much to say because I wasn’t sure whether their eyetracking IPD adjustment was off, but there were serious scale/steroscopy issues there. It was cool though seeing the resolution they were getting on the FA18C AMPCD.

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When I finally got to try it the demo was far worse than any xtal demo I had tried before. It was like an early alpha that needed all sorts of fundamental tweaks.

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Very interesting to know they have done much better in the past. Then there’s good reason to hope they can polish up their higher resolution headset going forward.

Though, for their next demo, they should really consider just using the Nevada DCS World map when that is all it takes to eliminate double framing.

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The previous one I saw was great but relatively low resolution spread over a wide FOV very much like the StarVR’s I’ve tried. The quality of the images of those were wonderful imho but at a low number of pixels per degree.

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They had a new version of the headset? I presume by old ones not referring to the HeroVR 2 as it is not Steam usable. But did hear They were impressed enough by the 8kX that they are planning on their own 8k Xtal now. The Xtal and HeroVR headsets were like og StarVR with 5k res.

What was the res of the ces model?

CES 2020 XTAL headset had the same resolution as the Pimax Vision 8kX. In spite of the higher price point they seem to be going for, I feel a lot more confident about this 8kX unit, than their product.

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