Last month, a small VR company from China called Pimax launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to begin manufacturing a super high-resolution VR HMD called the Pimax 8K. The upcoming headset features an ultrawide 200-degree field of view that’s filled by two side-by-side 4K display panels, and it interfaces with Valve’s SteamVR platform and SteamVR Tracking system. We recently had a chance to test out one of the Pimax 8K prototype headsets, and we were impressed by the image quality and peripheral vision the device provides.
The Pimax 8K Kickstarter campaign started with a bang, and the funding is still rolling in at a steady pace. Pimax’s original funding goal was $200,000, which it managed to rake in within the first hour. Over the weekend, the campaign cracked the $3 million milestone, which unlocked the last of six stretch goals.
At time of writing, 4,947 backers have committed $3.2 million in exchange for early access to the highest resolution VR HMD that you can order today, which gives Pimax the crown for most-funded VR device on Kickstarter. To put that into perspective, the previous highest record for a VR device on Kickstarter was held by Oculus with $2.4 million collected for the Rift DK1 campaign. Pimax already eclipsed that number, and it still has four days to collect even more.
Before Pimax revealed its Kickstarter plans, we caught wind of a lineup of accessories the company developed for the headset. Pimax has since moved to include a handful of those accessories with each Kickstarter-sold headset. At $500,000, Pimax added a second face cushion to the package to sweeten the deal. From then on, the company announced a new stretch goal for every half-million-dollar increment, including an upgraded head strap with built-in headphones at $1 million, a cooling fan and prescription lens kit at $1.5 million, and a coupon for $100 off a wireless transmission kit upgrade at $2 million.
When the Pimax 8K Kickstarter campaign reached $2.5 million, the company tossed in “three pieces of selective content,” which we thought indicated the end of the hardware upgrades, but boy were we wrong. On Sunday, the campaign surpassed the $3 million mark and unlocked the final stretch goal, which happens to be free eye tracking modules.
When Pimax launched the Pimax 8K Kickstarter campaign, it was offering three versions of the headset, including the Pimax 5K, which features two 1440p displays; the Pimax 8K, which includes two 4K panels but accepts a 5K feed; and the Pimax 8K X, which accepts a full resolution video feed. The Pimax 8K X is sold out, but you can still get your hands on the 5K or 8K models.