It turns out that coding the firmware for a gaming monitor jam packed with a wish list of features surveyed by actual gamers is tricky. Eve is finding this out as it pushes to get its highly anticipated Spectrum out the door and into the hands of buyers, but eager users are going to have wait a little bit longer.
This is the second time Eve has announced a delay. Originally the plan was to release the Spectrum in December of last year, but Eve postponed the launch to February of this year, citing the presence of "bugs, imperfections in design and manufacturing tolerances, as well as compatibility issues" in need of fixing.
And now? Eve says it will not hit its late February target, and has adjusted its timeline as such:
- Spectrum Model 3 (4K panel, 144Hz refresh rate): April 20
- Spectrum Model 2 (QHD panel, 240Hz refresh rate): April 30
- Spectrum Model 1 (QHD panel, 144Hz refresh rate): end of Q2
"Firmware is, at this time, a sticking point. Like any software development, it is often unpredictable, with new challenges popping up just as another is overcome. Our firmware team has been challenged more than usual with our unique blend of cutting-edge tech and uncommon feature combinations," Eve announced in a blog post.
Eve actually finalized the core design around a year and a half ago, when it showed off its first functional prototypes. At that point, it was a matter of working the kinks out and fine tuning things.
Unfortunately for Eve, the monitor market has been advancing on a fairly rapid pace. Had the Spectrum shipped on time, it would have been the first gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1 connectivity, to take full advantage of the latest GPUs and game consoles. And maybe it still will be, but that advantage will disappear when other monitor makers jump on board—Asus, for example, announced at CES its 32-inch ROG Swift PG32UQ with HDMI 2.1.
The Spectrum also boasts FreeSync Premium Pro certified displays and are G-Sync compatible. All three models sport an LG-made IPS screen, each with a fast 1ms response time. So there is a lot to like, but as time goes on, the competition is only getting stiffer.
As for the firmware challenges, Eve says it did not just delay the release, which gives its two-person firmware team added time to get things right, it also added a third firmware engineer to the mix in an effort "to make sure everything works as it should."
Fingers crossed this is the last of the delays. While we are still optimistic about the Spectrum—the specs are solid, even if the competition catches up—there is plenty of skepticism out there. Repeated delays don't help. But hey, the Atari VCS finally shipped to backers, so there's still hope.