In November 2022, virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturer Pimax launched a very bold Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Known for its ultra-wide VR headsets (see Best VR Headset), this project was very different, a hybrid VR device called the Pimax Portal. The campaign was hugely successful, hitting its $200k USD funding goal within a day. In April, backers should start receiving their new Pimax Portals.
Merging modern portable console gaming with VR, Pimax Portal is akin to Nintendo Switch being fused with a Google Daydream View. You have a portable, Qualcomm XR2-powered console with magnetically attached controllers and a 4K screen to play games on the go. Furthermore, you can then detach those controllers to put them in special VR housing and put the screen inside the View VR headset for a fully tracked VR experience.
Step into the Pimax Portal
What Pimax Portal is offering is extensive. Bewilderingly so. The console itself comes in two flavours: a 4K LCD screen model with either 128GB of internal memory or one with 256GB (standard prices $399 and $499 respectively). Then there’s the QLED model with 256GB of storage for $549. The Kickstarter also offered the View VR headset in certain tiers if backers wanted the full experience.
For those prices, the Pimax Portal also boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, a 5.5-inch screen (3840×2160 resolution), analogue triggers; complete 6DoF inside-out tracking, a 4000 mAh internal battery and those funky magnetic controllers we mentioned. When it comes to the VR headset there are a few other stats. There are, in fact, two versions; the View VR and View VR Pro. Both offer a 100-degree field of view and swappable lenses. But the VR Pro also has a 6000mAh battery on the back for long gameplay sessions and better weight distribution.
Oh, and on top of all that the Pimax Portal supports AR gaming too. Because why not? Plus there is a dock so you can connect the console to your TV.
On the gaming side, the Pimax Portal supports Wi-Fi streaming, Android games and PC gaming. When it comes to VR, Pimax expects more than 20 games will be available for the device by the end of April. In a recent blog post, the company also said: “The PCVR functionality of Portal is still under development. In the future, the QLED version of Portal will support native PCVR using an HDMI cable, while other versions of Portal will support streaming PCVR using WIFI/USB.”
It’s also working with VR streaming solution VirtualDesktop so owners should be able to easily access SteamVR games wirelessly, eventually.
Do you think hybrid VR like Pimax Portal will work well? Let us know in the comments below.