As one of the first major VR headsets to hit shelves, the hardware inside the HTC Vive isn't its most compelling feature anymore. The ecosystem HTC has built through partnerships with Steam and its own Viveport app store, combined with being able to boast the most accurate roomscale tracking system, has kept the Vive at the top of the heap so far. But with a barrage of Windows Mixed Reality headsets offering higher resolution for cheaper, HTC needed to step up its hardware game.
That new headset is called the Vive Pro, and instead of replacing the original Vive it will exist as a "prosumer" option for people who want the best possible experience.
These are the big, important changes you should care about:
- Resolution: The Vive Pro packs a 2880 x 1600 resolution display, offering 615ppi to eliminate Screen Door Effect.
- Dual cameras: The front of this headset now has a pair of cameras for developers to play in augmented reality as well as virtual reality.
- Audio: Dual microphones on the headset help with noise cancellation for online play, but the headset is also packing a lighter, sleeker version of HTC's Deluxe Audio Strap, so headphones are a stock option now.
- Trackable Space: The HTC Vive sensors and software can now track a 10ft x 10ft cube.
All combined, these improvements make the Vive Pro an impressive competitor in the current VR space. HTC's boast of improved ergonomics with the tweaked headset design sound promising given how much nicer the headset already felt with the Deluxe Audio Strap onboard.
HTC also announced a slim WiGig adapter for the Vive. It's a separate accessory to enable fully wireless VR, with interference-free 60GHz communication.
Note: We now have pricing details for the Vive Pro. Expect to pay about $800 for the headset alone. You can pre-order now, with an expected release date of April 5, 2018. As for full kits, including new lighthouses and motion controllers, we're still waiting.
Expect a full hands-on from us soon, but in the mean time share your thoughts in the comments!
Updated March 19, 2018: We've refreshed this article to include pricing and release information for the Vive Pro.