Editorials

Pimax Trade-In Program should be the rule, not the exception

As we head into the last quarter of 2022 (where’d the time go!?) I wanted to revisit something that came up during our recent reviews for the Pimax 5K Super and 8K that absolutely blew my mind – the Pimax trade-in program. First and foremost, I want to mention that I’m not being compensated for this article in any way whatsoever – I just felt like this is something my VR-focused readership should know about as it’s truly extraordinary. That said, let’s get into it.

Pimax is offering a trade-in program for their headsets ahead of the launch of their upcoming Pimax 12K QLED HMD for Holiday 2022. An obvious direct competitor to something like the Oculus Quest 2, but without all the Facebook connectivity requirements, the Pimax 12K is also a standalone headset with a Qualcomm XR-2 processor onboard for standalone gaming, as well as options for PC tethering – literally the best of both worlds. To help defray what is rumored to be a $2499 launch price, Pimax is offering a substantial upgrade / trade-in program for their loyal customers. Not unlike the program that EVGA uses for their GPU trade-up program, this will help returning customers jump into the next big thing without breaking the bank.

The first and most obvious question is which headsets are eligible for trade in, and thankfully I’ve got a list for you. You’ll be able to trade in the 5K Plus, 5K XR, 5K Super, 8K, 8K Plus, 8K X and all of the KDMAS variants (that’s the ones with the audio options included) for the 12K model. If you just purchased the 5K Super, well – I have good news for you as well. The Pimax 5K Super’s trade in value is locked at $900 bucks. Yep – you’ll get the entirety of the retail price for that unit right back when applied to the 12K, so there’s no need for buyer’s remorse here.

The craziest thing about this trade-in program is that Pimax will even offer a discount for a headset even if it’s not in working condition. While you won’t get the full discount, you will at least get a coupon for some money off your purchase if you can provide proof of purchase for the previous units from an authorized retailer. Hey – it’s better than nothing, and you are at least recycling to help the environment. I don’t see anyone else doing it (outside of EVGA’s excellent GPU trade-in program), so this is Pimax being the change they want to see in the world, and I admire that.

In terms of hardware capabilities, we’ll want to wait for our hands-on review to draw any conclusions, but this newest headset does tease an improvement across the board. Many have requested a taller viewing angle, and this newest headset will hit 135 degrees. The Pimax already holds the crown for widest field of view, but they aren’t apparently done, pushing that horizontal FOV up to 210. It’s likely that there will be a number of toggles and options to hit those with a reliable framerate, as it is in their other headsets, but apparently the team isn’t content with exceeding the entirety of what the human eye can see. Keep it going, Pimax – wrap this thing around my head, my body is ready.

One of the most exciting pieces of tech on the 12K has got to be the Qualcomm XR-2-powered onboard CPU and WiGig capabilities. If you plan on connecting this device to your PC, you’ll be using two Display Port 1.4 connections, but you can also stream to it directly through WiFi 6, aka “WiGig”. They are dubbing this new evolution of VR headsets “PCVR Hybrid”, offering the best possible experience regardless of whether you are near your PC or not. It will be interesting to see what, if any, compromises VR games will need to make to work wirelessly, but with the hardware levels on the 12K, we might be looking at 1:1 parity.

As I said, I’ll want to get my eyes into this thing before I draw any conclusion, but it’s great to see such a seemingly massive improvement that combines their previous efforts into one headset. Sure, it’s going to cost a pretty penny, but with this trade-in program, 12K VR just might be affordable.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).

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