The Vive Pro is coming and there’s also a discounted bundle for those just getting started.
Two weeks ago, pre-orders opened up for HTC’s $799 Vive Pro VR headset. The upgraded headset touts a 78% increase in resolution, improved audio, and additional comfort features that should have you spending more time in VR.
For those that pre-ordered the Vive Pro when orders opened up on Vive.com and Amazon, your headset is almost on its way — shipping April 5th.
The HTC Vive Pro is an upgrade of the original Vive, which saw its price drop from $599 to $499 when then the Vive Pro pricing was announced. Unveiled at CES in January, the dark blue colored VR headset comes with dual AMOLED 3.5” screens, making for a crisper image resolution of 2880 x 1600 combined. With a refresh rate of 90Hz and a 100 degree field-of-view, all of the spec upgrades translate to a VR headset that is fantastically sharp, letting you read small text in experiences and games.
After spending a week with the Vive Pro, exploring Fallout 4 VR or Silicon Valley, the resolution improvement is quite noticeable. The fine details just stand out more, making it more difficult to ever want to go back to the original Vive headset. The cleaner view of the Vive Pro has noticeably less of a screen door effect when comparing the two headsets one after the other.
Without even putting on the headset, the improved design and new physical features are what most will notice. The original Vive design is still present, but the Vive Pro has integrated headphones and a more robust head strap. You’ll notice volume buttons on the side of one headphone. There’s also a built-in amplifier for increased resonance. The head strap itself is more comfortable, distributing the device’s weight more evenly.
A couple less-noticeable upgrades include the addition of dual-microphones that improve voice capture, especially during multiplayer and social VR experiences.
You may also notice a second front-facing camera lens on the front of the Vive Pro, but Vive is being pretty tight lipped on what we can expect from the new feature in the future.
In the end, with improved resolution, audio, and comfort, the Vive Pro is an upgrade from the original Vive. Every feature improvement is meant to make spending time in VR more comfortable. But at the same time, its not for everyone.
The HTC Vive Pro is priced at $799 and does not include the base stations and controllers, key accessories that you need to jump straight into VR. Instead, the Vive Pro is likely priced as an upgrade for existing owners of the Vive. But what if you don’t already own a Vive, buying accessories a la carte can get pricey.
Vive announced today that they will also be selling a SteamVR 1.0 tracking bundle for Vive Pro purchasers. For $299, new Vive Pro buyers get a discounted package that includes 2 base stations and 2 controllers. That’s roughly a $200 savings off of current prices. So whether you already have a Vive to upgrade or are starting fresh, there are now options for everyone.
While not quite a second generation Vive VR headset, the Vive Pro is a serious upgrade that packs many of the features that businesses have been looking for. Think VR arcades and event producers who are trying to streamline the process of getting attendees in VR easier, while still making it the most comfortable experience as possible.