Back before the Kickstarter, I was one of a small group of people in San Francisco that got the lucky opportunity to try out prototypes of the 5K and 8K headsets. The 5K even had a prototype hand tracking module. While I was impressed, I had weird blurriness at the center of the screen on both headsets and neither matched my IPD.
I was skeptical that the final headsets that would ship as part of the Kickstarter campaign would have working IPD adjustment that would allow my eyes to focus properly in the headset and I opted out of backing at the time.
Fast forward to recent months. @vrgamerdude has been talking up how much he loves his 5K+ and advised that he had tried it on a GTX 1070 system similar to my own. I had a friend who was an original backer who still had his 5K+ in a box and he had decided to sell it. I picked it up for what I thought was a fair price, expecting it to not knock me off of my feet but figured it would be good to have in my collection of tester headsets for different VR applications for beta testing.
When I installed initially, my Nvidia drivers were too old and so the image wouldn’t render to the headset. I uninstalled Pitool, updated my Nvidia drivers and reinstalled PiTool v220.127.116.11. It updated the firmware on the headset to v18.104.22.168. I put on the headset and still had some distortion, especially on the sides but by disabling the Hidden Area Mask, it at least functioned properly. My IPD is supported just fine and while the value in headset is different than what I’m used to, it is a clear picture with depth. It just had a lot of distortion and warping.
I figured it was still a good investment but I’d just bought a headset I wouldn’t be using very often. Then talking again to vrgamerdude, he brought up the new beta firmware (m248). I installed it with a bit of hesitation, as I have one of the early Kickstarter backer headsets that doesn’t support 120hz mode currently and worried that it would have issues.
Not only did the firmware install, it feels almost like a completely different headset than the previous public firmware. With m248, the graphics seem sharper, the distortion, especially on normal mode, feels like it is completely gone. Playing Elite: Dangerous feels amazing and I am finally fully a believer in Pimax and can endorse the experience I’ve had with the 5K+.
I never wished ill will on Pimax but it is great to see that the 5K+ is getting to the point where I can potentially recommend it to other VR enthusiasts. I’m fortunate to have had that initial experience pre-Kickstarter and have continued to follow the progress and iteration on these products.