With the Vive Pro, HTC aims to sharpen high-end virtual reality.
During the company’s recent CES 2018 press conference, HTC revealed the Vive Pro, a new virtual reality headset that features a higher resolution display, built-in headphones — just like its main competitor the Oculus Rift — dual front-facing cameras and other improvements.
The headset’s resolution measures in at 2800 x 1600 pixels (3K), a significant improvement over the first generation Vive’s 1080 x 1200 pixels per eye. This should, at least in theory, significant reduce the ‘screen door’ effect low-end and even high-end virtual reality headsets often suffer from.
‘Screen door’ refers the almost grate-like visuals VR headsets often create — since the pixels are so close to your eyes, it makes them much easier to see.
In total, the Vive Pro’s display resolution is a substantial 78 percent increase over its predecessor, according to HTC. The new version of the headset also features two noise cancelling microphones, is significantly lighter and features a new, more ergonomic head-strap that seems to borrow from the PlayStation VR’s comfortable design.
Just like the first generation Vive though, the Vive Pro is powered by a high-end PC. The headset is also compatible with the first Vive’s Base Stations. Overall, the Vive Pro looks like a worthy upgrade to HTC’s high-end virtual reality headset. Most impressively though, the headset increases display resolution — solving one of high-end VR’s main issues — while also avoiding fragmenting the Vive’s installed base.
In addition to the new headset, HTC also showed off the Vive Wireless Adapter, an accessory that hooks onto either the original Vive or the Vive Pro in order to connect to a nearby PC. Third-party wireless Vive accessories have been around for a few months now, with some of them being developed with support from HTC. This wireless adapter though, appears to be an official accessory that takes advantage of Intel’s WiGig technology in order to seamlessly stream data over the air.
HTC says the Vive’s wireless adapter is set to be revealed in 2018.
Other reveals include HTC revamping the Vive’s user-interface, including adding a virtual reality version of its Viveport catalog of games.
No pricing or Canadian release date has been revealed by the company yet. We’ve reached out to HTC for additional information and will update this story when we hear back.