There’s clearly two main competitors when it comes to PC based VR headsets: the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Both of these headsets and manufacturers have their pros and cons. But a new battlefield is looking to emerge next year in 2018 as Pimax introduces their 8K VR headset to the world. The company promises bigger resolution and larger FOV for the human eye. But they may have found some new competition with Starbreeze’s StarVR headset.
Acer has announced a $5 million investment into marketing and sales for the StarVR headset. Currently, Acer manufactures the headset and owns the hardware patents to it. With the new injection of money, they might be transferring their market from commercial to retail. While this isn’t 100% confirmed, it’s definitely a high possibility. So now, let’s compare the two headsets against one another in terms of specs.
Pimax has stated that their 8K headset offers 200° Field of Vision (FOV), which is far closer to matching the natural human FOV of 220°. The screens will offer less than 15ms latency.
Pimax 8K is close to double the field of view seen in the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. They also provide almost triple the resolution size of the two leading headsets. Pimax has around 16.6 million pixels compared to the 2.6 million pixels seen on the Rift and Vive.
Pimax is also to offer the HMD for around $400 – $600 which is quite competitive in pricing.
FOV: 200 Degrees
Resolution: 2 X 3840 x 2160
Pixels: 16.6 million
Refresh Rate: 90Hz
Pricing: $400 – $600. Retail price not confirmed.
StarVR provides 210 degrees of horizontal field of view covering more than 90% of the entire human vision. On top of that, StarVR headsets provide 130 degrees of vertical field of view and 100 degrees of binocular overlap.
StarVR is currently a commercial grade headset with the possibilities of being sold at a consumer market level. The pricing of the headsets are not yet clear since it’s enterprise packaged. But to compete against the Pimax it would need to be priced at a competitive level.
FOV: 210 Degrees x 130 Degrees
Resolution: Two Dual 5.5″ Quad HD resolution panel totaling 5120 x 1440 pixels. ~5K
Refresh Rate: 90Hz
Pricing: Retail price not confirmed
If these two headsets were compared side-by-side, Pimax 8K would overlap the StarVR headset. StarVR essentially puts up 5K resolution while Pimax puts up 8K resolution on their displays. But in the retail world, Acer has far more experience with consumer grade marketing and has a bigger channel for distribution and sales.
Acer also has manufacturing centers available if they wanted to upgrade the headset at any point. Pimax is still in its startup phases with many challenges ahead. But they did recently raise $2 million on Kickstarter so there are a lot of people believing in the company. The two manufacturers have some big challenges if they want to open up this new HD VR headset market. Not only would they be competing against one another but they would also be competing against established companies such as HTC Vive and Oculus.
Oh, and they’d also be competing against team Microsoft which is a whole other world. But we’re excited to see what 2018 has to offer when it comes to HD VR headsets.