They’re announcing a new headset also in the Reality line which will be in the $1000-1500 range to fit the role of a more direct replacement for the 8KX. It will have the same/similar housing as the 12K. It will probably have an 8K display and will delete a number of the features from the 12K. But it will still be the same overall format of headset. It will have an XR2 and will still have eye tracking because these are integral to the Reality series design and can’t be deleted. It will initially have standalone and wired PCVR support only.
It will have a release date earlier than the 12K’s December. Within the next 3 months. Getting it out earlier will draw a lot more customers as a lower priced platform while also getting some experience with the platform in customers hands to debug issues ahead of the flagship launch of the 12K.
One thing I thought was very interesting about the recent interview with Pimax on MRTV was all the discussion about how Pimax has grown into a much larger company, and how much things have changed and formalized at the company. And yet, it hasn’t seemed like we’ve really seen those changes in the support of their current product line like the 8KX.
I suspect this is because their new A-team has been completely focused on the new Reality series, and the existing product line is just being vaguely supported in the background. Maybe by just a few of their original employees that didn’t move on to working on the new project or something. I think for a good while now Pimax has considered the 8KX and the rest of their prior headsets to be legacy equipment they’d rather get rid of supporting, which is part of the motivation for their trade-in program. But at the same time, they had to keep the doors open until the launch of the Reality series.
Underlying these changes is that the Reality series is Pimax’s first major product that isn’t a Kickstarter project. I suspect strongly that much of Pimax’s foibles and reputation has been driven by the fact of being a Kickstarter company. For each project, they’re making promises of both functionality and deadline up front. It makes each project into a mad dash which eventually falls short of its promises, and it ends up with not quite finished projects being shoved out the door and never really finished later because the company is immediately off onto the next Kickstarter project mad dash again.
But the Reality series isn’t bound by Kickstarter promises and deadlines. So what we’re going to see now is, for the first time, Pimax product releases being driven by what’s best for the product.
Pimax mentioned during the MRTV interview that they were already working on the Reality series before the 8KX was released. That’s over three years! Given this and where they seemed to be with the engineering during that interview, I suspect that their December date is actually conservative. And they were holding back on announcing this second headset that was going to have an earlier date until they felt fully confident they could hit that earlier date.
Everyone was shocked by Pimax’s 12K announcement, and there’s a lot a skepticism about Pimax’s claims. But I suspect that Pimax was holding back, and they’re actually even farther along than they’ve let on. And maybe that’s what they’re about to present.