Chinese VR hardware manufacturer Pimax recently announced that Portal, the company’s crowdfunded VR headset hybrid inspired by the Nintendo Switch, is almost ready to launch. The company also states that all Kickstarter backers will receive their Portal by the end of this month. Pimax also released a video that shows the view from the console’s VR mode.
“Ever seen a hand-held gaming console do this,” Pimax asks in a Tweet showcasing the video. To use VR mode Portal owners will need to slot their Nintendo-esque controller into VR movement controllers resembling those of the Meta Quest. Then the user inserts the console into the headset sleeve to transform the device, much like the smartphone-powered Google Daydream.
Throughout the year, Pimax has produced 569 Portal devices in various versions. These devices were used for internal and external testing. Some of the devices were also available to content creators to allow them to migrate their games and content to the new device. According to Pimax, the hardware is now in its final phase and mass production is beginning.
Pimax Portal: A Kickstarter Success
Pimax Portal was backed by 605 Kickstarter users who cumulatively pledged $354,080 to make the hybrid game system a reality. The Portal looks similar to the Nintendo Switch and works as both hand-held and traditional gaming consoles.
The device, which runs on Android, provides a 4K resolution with a 144 Hz refresh rate. Currently, Pimax is optimising the Portal’s software to optimise battery life and provide proper heat dissipation to maintain the optimum device temperature. The company is also working to improve the wireless controller connection. A solution to a rare issue in which head and hand tracking freezes is also in the works.
According to the company, over 20 VR games will be available on the device by the end of May. The Portal’s PC VR functionality is still in development. However, Pimax assures users that QLED versions of the device will support native PC VR by using an HDMI cable in the future. Other versions of the Portal will allow for streaming of PC VR via WIFI and USB.