HTC Vive Pro is one of the best VR headsets on the market today. It offers a higher resolution than the original HTC Vive, and it is a thing of beauty that can take your gaming world from good to gorgeous. if you can meet its demand for hardware and your money. So if you are looking for the next big thing in virtual reality, then this VR headset might just be the choice for you. But as you would expect, it comes at a price.
The HTC Vive Pro has come with several adjustments and changes in design. Its royal blue color with a black accent makes it a welcome with a conspicuous distinction from the all-black original Vive. Here is what is new in the design.
- A new head-strap system
First, the three separate Velcro straps on the original HTC Vive have been replaced with a new harness that holds the headset more firmly and restrains it from moving -especially during intense gaming moments in games such as Arizona Sunshine or DOOM VFR. The harness makes it possible to wear the HTC Vive Pro for extended gaming sessions by warding off the head strain that is common with the original HTC Vive.
- Build-in headphones
It also comes with height adjustable built-in headphones with volume controls designed to sit directly on the top of your ears. You no longer need to mount on headphones on top of the headset or remove it to re-adjust the volume between gaming sessions.
- A new turn knob
The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap that HTC had released previously has been carried over as a new turn knob at the back of the headset. You can easily use the turn knob to loosen the headset and take it off without undoing the top strap, or tighten it up for a better fit.
- Slim single wire cable, rubber nose guards and front-facing camera
The triple-wire cord on the original Vive has been improved into a slim and manageable single wire cable, and there is an option for a wireless adapter. For developers seeking to improved tracking for making AR experiences, the headset is fitted with a second front-facing camera. The new rubber nose guards will improve your gaming experience by stopping any bleeding of light through the nose cut-out.
Extended VR sessions are now possible with plusher cushioning on the entire faceplate, and the well-padded adjustable head strap at the back for ergonomic comfort. It is easy to clean and when the cushioning wears out, you can replace it. It features an adjustable pupillary distance knob for eye comfort and a 24% increase in face gasket surface area for lowered stress. To achieve a balanced center of gravity, the weight of the headset is evenly distributed, and it suits a range of head sizes and shapes. This top-down ergonomic comfort makes the Vive pro ideal for extended gaming sessions, more than the original Vive that tends to pull you forward, leaving you with neck and face strains.
- Adjustable eye comfort setting
- Adjustable head strap
- Optimal center of gravity
- Plush cushioning on the faceplate and head strap
Comfortable and quality gaming comes at a price. The HTC Vive Pro is valued at about $800. The $800 is only for the headset because it doesn’t come with controllers or base station sensors. If you had invested in its predecessor –the HTC Vive – you just need to migrate the hardware, but if you don’t own them already, you will have to part with an additional $299 to purchase them as part of a SteamVR 1.0 tracking bundle.
If your PC doesn’t have the recommended GPUs i.e. either the AMD Radeon Vega 56 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070/Quadro P500, then you will have to tack more dollars on its price for the hardware upgrade so that you can enjoy the latest and the greatest in VR world.
If you have the HTC Vive, you can take advantage of SteamVR software. It lets you play any games in your library. In a virtual desktop theater mode on your headset, you can play even 2D games which are not designed for VR. You can also access VR games and applications with a monthly subscription to HTC’s Viveport. Viveport is the Virtual Reality store operating in more than 60 countries globally, that allows you to explore numerous immersive experiences across 2000+ videos, games, and apps. If you are a developer, you can opt-in for Viveport Arcade that will allow you to distribute content to over 2000 VR stations with a combined 1 million minutes of playtime per month.
The biggest technical upgrade of the HTC Vive Pro is its higher resolution AMOLED screens. Running at 2880 by 1600 (615 PPI) pixels per eye, its resolution is higher than the original Vive by 78 percent pixel increase and 37% PPI increase. The VIVE Pro dazzles your eyes to bring your imagination to life with ultra-vibrant screen colors and incredibly high contrast that allows you to spot the difference in every detail with realistic graphics. However, the 110-degree field of view from the original Vive has been kept.
HTC Vive Pro has now been created to make it easy for you to hear your surroundings and remain immersed in any realities without having to take off the headset. To deliver true-to-life immersive audio, its Hi-Res certified headset and headphones are now integrated with 3D spatial sound. The powerful amplifier creates soundscapes to change your world with its capability to drive high-impedance headphones. Conversation mode, alert mode, and active noise cancellation are now possible with the dual microphone.
- 3D Spatial Audio
- Powerful Digital Amplifier
- Dual Microphones
- Hi-Res Audio Certification
In the VR world, HTC Pro leads the pack by offering the most visually rich and beautiful games you have yet to see in virtual reality. Once you have a test of what the Vive Pro can do, it will be difficult for you to go back to any other device with a lower-resolution display. Precise headset tracking and 360-degree controller, HD haptic feedback, directional audio, and realistic graphics, you remain fully immersed in the virtual world with realistic movement and actions. Stream VR Tracking provides the best experience possible. You can create a 5m x 5m dedicated room-scale play area where you can walk physically, or explore boundless virtual worlds while seated or standing.
It is true that the HTC Vive Pro has fixed most of the problems of its predecessor – the original HTC Vive and will keep you fully immersed with 3D spatial audio, and high resolution AMOLED screens to scale up your VR gaming session to unprecedented heights with more comfort. But because it doesn’t come with controllers or base station sensors, and has carried over the 110-degree field of view from the original Vive makes it sound incomplete.
Its price and hardware requirements cement the fact that it’s more of a headset for developers and designers and bonafide VR enthusiasts who want a better VR hardware. So if you are looking for a high end VR experience and money is not an issue then the HTC Vive Pro is a pretty good choice.
- Built-in headphones
- Higher-resolution screens
- Improved ergonomics
- Improved game library
- Expensive –almost 3x the price of the original Vive
- Very high End PC and graphics card requirements