May 7, 2019 – Pimax has named its two new VR controllers “Sword” and “Sword Sense” and has announced that Sword will be shipped within the second half of 2019. As a community-based project, the design of the Sword controllers has been iterated numerous times, taking into account feedback from the VR community and from providing demos at exhibitions since prototypes were first unveiled in last year.
Compared with a prototype released in January this year, the new controller now features a 900mAh lithium battery that is replaceable and rechargeable. “Many of our users have complained to us that while being immersed in VR, they often find the controllers suddenly dead and then they have to go back to the real world to recharge the controllers. In this situation, they have to always remember to charge the battery. These are the main reasons for the development of a replaceable and rechargeable battery.” said Kevin Henderson, NA and EU Head of Operations and company spokesperson at Pimax VR. The company expects its new design of battery should now allow users to continue to be fully immersed in VR without being interrupted or taking time out to recharge the battery in the middle of gaming.
Pimax stated that the name refers to “the sword of virtual reality”, given that the new controller resembles the hilt of a sword. The design of the grip handle and of the ring of the controllers has been optimized to be fully integrated with a user’s palm. The surface of the grip handle is more curved to better fit a user’s hand, and the controller’s center of gravity has been optimized to give a balanced feeling of weight when grasped. The sensor ring of the controller has also been optimized to give more interior space.
“These new controllers represent the next step for Pimax in offering top notch hardware to end users and B2B customers looking for designs that are both attractive and robust. The balance these controllers have in your hand and the level of comfort will certainly please a lot of VR enthusiasts,” added Henderson. “Our goal is to provide the best VR experiences available and as we release these new controllers along with the latest lighthouse technology this will allow us to offer complete VR systems that are more expandable and versatile than any other VR offering.”
Pimax offers two options with its controllers – both thumbstick and trackpad styles, giving more flexibility and choice to users. The Pimax Sword controller is a wireless 6DOF controller with a trackpad style design and it can be attached to the user’s palm when playing games with a strap. The Pimax Sword Sense is the company’s flagship controller offering and shares the same functionality as the standard Pimax Sword controller, but is further upgraded to utilize sensors to detect all five fingers and finger movements with a thumbstick design and a touch panel. In addition, both types include a grip button, a menu button, a system button, and a trigger and are compatible with both version 1.0 and 2.0 versions of Steam VR Lighthouse tracking.
“The Pimax community was instrumental in helping us achieve the right mix of functionality included with the Pimax Sword controllers. As a result of all the feedback we decided to make both types for the community to satisfy different demands, though it did extend the development and production time. We are very excited we have completed the design and [are] moving on to the production stage” said Henderson.
Pimax is set to begin mass production of the Sword controller soon, and will begin shipping in quantity in the second half of 2019. Together with its 5K+ and 8K headsets, Pimax aims to offer package deals for VR enthusiasts to enjoy VR.
Video credit: Pimax/YouTube
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.