Updated: Jun 24
When you ask about why PC gaming is better than console or mobile, one of the most popular answers is how customizable it is. Whether with building your own PC, mods, or the endless variation of peripherals, PC certainly offers some of the highest customizability for any gaming experience. Oddly enough, when it comes to PC VR controllers, gamers are asked to pick one of two models: either the Valve Knuckles or the HTC Vive controllers.
Finally, a new challenger has stepped into the ring: the Pimax Sword controllers. While they don't bring anything completely unique to the table, the design and layout that the Sword controllers sport are reminiscent of some of the best parts of the Valve Knuckles, the HTC Vive controllers, and the Meta Quest 2 controllers. Unfortunately, some firmware issues, including software compatibility issues, and even issues regarding compatibility with other Pimax products, hold the Pimax Swords back from being true competitors with the two titans currently cornering the market.
The Sword controllers were originally announced and open for preorder back in 2018, but were christened as the "Sword and Sword Sense" controllers in 2019. The Sword and Sword Sense controllers were supposed to be two different configurations, one with a touch pad à la the Vive controllers, and one with a joystick and face buttons, in the style of the Knuckles or Quest controllers. The "Sword Sense" nomenclature, along with the joystick configuration, were scrapped, leaving the Pimax Swords with dual touch pad configuration.
The ergonomic layout of the Swords is definitely one of the high points of the controllers. The design of the controller is very similar to the Quest controller, both with how it feels in your hand, and the design of the trigger and grip buttons. Unlike the Quest controllers though, the Swords do not have a wrist strap. Instead, Pimax opted for a Valve Knuckles-esque strap that covers the back of your hand. However, while the bottom of the Knuckles' strap connects to the controller grip, the strap on the Pimax controller connects to the outer tracking ring. This negates the issue that the Valve Knuckles had, where they would pinch the bottom of your hands if you tightened them too much.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue with the Pimax Swords so far is compatibility. One issue that may be of consequence to streamers and content creators is that the Swords don't seem to have native compatibility with LIV. To set up LIV, you have to have at least one of another type of controller, be it the HTC Vive controllers or the Knuckles, as the calibration will not work without one of