The original HTC Vive launched just two short years ago, and now HTC is back with a significantly enhanced version of its revolutionary VR headset. Sporting a brand -new design, reduced weight, built-in noise cancellation and 3D audio headphones, as well as a significantly higher resolution display, the HTV Vive Pro is no slouch in the spec department, but that comes at a cost. At $799 this is no cheap headset, and at that, this package only includes the head-mounted display (HMD) itself, not any controllers or base stations.
This is a particular shame since it supports SteamVR Tracking 2.0; an upgraded tracking system that utilizes new base stations that can be set as far apart as 10m x 10m, doubling the size of the current 5m x 5m SteamVR Tracking 1.0. HTC will also be selling a wireless adapter that finally cuts the cord, and makes even more sense with this new larger roomscale tracking as well. For now, we’re just seeing the upgraded headset, and what an upgrade it is. With a 78% resolution increase, these new OLED display panels are simply stunning to behold, and make VR feel more realistic than ever. There’s almost no screen door effect, which means the pixel structure of the display is almost invisible, as it would be on a phone or other device that isn’t held quite so close to the face.
At 2880 x 1600, these panels are of an ultra-high resolution and represent the highest resolution OLED panels you’ll find on any VR headset. This compared with the 2160 x 1200 resolution of the original, or a 167 pixel-per-inch density increase from 448 PPI up to 615 PPI. The downside here is that you’re going to need some seriously expensive hardware to run it. A GeForce GTX 970 is no longer enough to run maximum resolution, and even a GeForce GTX 1070 is going to struggle with a lot of titles when enabling higher detail levels. HTC is utilizing SteamVR for the back-end work, and of course the Steam store as the main front-end for games, but they’ve also launched Viveport, a subscription-based service that gives users access to hundreds of titles. Check out the video review below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest!