HTC announced a new Vive Pro starter kit to celebrate VIVE Day 2018, along with a smattering of free titles on its Viveport service. With the April 5 anniversary of the Vive's launch looming, HTC has taken steps to make its VR offering more accessible to everybody. The new Vive Pro is hitting the market primarily as an upgraded VR headset only, but the new starter pack will include two controllers and two base stations for $1,099. This means that users who already have a decent PC can get everything they need to get into the highest-grade room-scale VR currently on the consumer market for less than $1,200, including tax and shipping. In contrast, users already in the Vive ecosystem will be able to get a Vive Pro headset for only $799 when it launches on April 5, while consumers just getting into room-scale VR can get an original Vive HMD for $499. All of the gear in the Vive Pro starter kit, it's worth noting, is the same Vive 1.0 gear that's currently on the market. For reference, building your own starter kit with the same gear using a first-generation Vive HMD will run you right around $900, along with an optional $99.99 for the Deluxe Audio Strap.
The free Viveport titles on offer in honor of the big day include Front Defense, Front Defense Heroes, Super Puzzle Galaxy Lite, and Arcade Saga. For a limited time, the 3-month Viveport susbscription package will see a 50-percent discount, and both new and existing Viveport subscribers will get a free copy of Everest VR. As a reminder, a Viveport subscription will get you any 5 Viveport titles every month for a fixed subscription price, instead of having to pay per title. All of this is meant to get new Vive users, especially those picking up the Vive Pro, off to the quickest and smoothest start possible.
Vive Pro hopefuls have a great deal facing them, but those who want to hold out for Vive 2.0 gear may not have long to wait. HTC said that it wanted to get this newest set of deals and promotions out in time for Vive Day 2018, but there will be more news on Vive 2.0 gear soon, along with SteamVR Tracking 2.0. For those considering the Vive Pro, it improves upon its predecessor in ergonomics, boasts a high-res sound system built right in, has a redesigned face cushion that lets in less outside light, uses Intel WiGig technology to go completely wireless, and has two 3.5-inch 1,440 by 1,600 displays that run at a smooth 90Hz refresh rate.