Pimax, developer of virtual reality headsets, has announced the Pimax Portal. It’s gunning for the Meta Quest 2, Steam Deck, and Switch.
In a bizarre, nearly hour-long presentation, Pimax announced the Portal system. It’s a handheld console that can turn into a trio of other devices. The main one is a full, VR headset that has comparable features to your current, all-in-one devices like the Meta Quest.
As it’ll also be a VR device, the Pimax Portal also features 6DoF tracking, or six degrees of freedom tracking, which will be in both VR and augmented reality apps. This should allow for full room-scale freedom to move around.
Pimax is claiming this is the first 4K devices of its kind, featuring a QLED screen that is supported by a mini-LED backlight. It should get those deep contrasts and blacks, while not costing an arm and a leg. Pimax also stated that they’ll be fitting it with a 144Hz panel too. All this is housed inside a 5.5-inch screen.
There is also a Portal XL on the way, but it’s not a separate device. Instead, Pimax will allow you to use your regular Portal to be housed in an expansion cage with the screen attached. Your controllers then slip into the case too.
It features a larger 8.8-inch screen, with a 2560×1600 resolution, but only supports up to 120Hz.
In the case is Pimax’s ‘WiGig’, a wireless connection to help assist with bringing virtual reality away from cables. It was originally introduced in their first ‘VR 3.0’ headset.
Pimax Mini Station and dock
This system will also be available in the Pimax Mini Station, which will let you stream your PC games to the Pimax Portal, rather than using your home’s Wi-Fi. It’s a mini-PC, featuring 32GB of RAM, an AMD 6800U, and 1TB of storage, so games can be loaded up and played on the go.
This is similar technology to what’s used on movie sets, with devices like Teradek able to beam high-quality video over a dedicated network.
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Did they announce a whole PC too?!
Pimax will also be offering a preconfigured prebuilt system, that is intended to be your home point. The mock-up image featured an RTX card, which was then swapped to a video of friends playing a triple-A game on the beach. This will apparently be able to be accessed over 5G and WiGig.
Cloud gaming will also be supported, with the Mini Station able to act as your antenna while out and about.
There will also be a dock, allowing you to play on the big screen. The dock will feature USB, Ethernet, and a charging station for your controllers.
Another first is the inclusion of 32 physical buttons available on the device. This is to avoid having users play with touchscreen controls, but some similar handhelds still fail to get this concept to work natively, with third-party software needed to complete the job.
Pimax Portal Specs
- 4K QLED with MiniLED
- Room Scale 6-DoF
- 60GHz mmWave
- Expansion case with 120Hz 4K screen
- Snapdragon XR2
- Undisclosed AMD CPU
Pimax will be using the Qualcomm XR2, the same chipset currently being housed inside the Meta Quest Pro. This chip is intended for VR and has proved itself with recent coverage on the Quest Pro.
Of course, being built on Qualcomm means that the device will be using a custom user interface and Android, which Pimax said is going to be a ‘hub for your digital life’.
While the video presentation featured people using the device, we’ll have to wait to see if Pimax actually fulfills the mighty promises.
It launches on Kickstarter soon, starting at $299, with the highest spec version coming in at $549. The VR version comes in at $449 and $599. Only the most expensive versions will be QLED, it seems.