The HTC Vive is big, expensive, the resolution isn’t great, and with the recent price cut its competitor the Oculus Rift has seen, it’s not as appealing as it once was. Luckily for HTC adherents out there, there’s going to be a new HTC headset with a number of improvements over the original — according to the official CES 2018 announcement.
The new HTC Vive Pro headset, as it will be called, features an improved resolution of 2,880 x 1,600 — the original headset only had a max resolution of 2,180 x 1,200. That’s a 78 percent increase in overall resolution, with 615 pixels-per-inch. HTC claims the resolution is now high enough to comfortably read text on the new headset. It features built-in headphones, like its competitor the Oculus Rift. It will also feature built-in dual microphones.
One improvement that will be music to the ears — and nose — of anyone who wears glasses. The new Vive Pro features a lighter overall weight, and it’s been redesigned to be more comfortable while wearing corrective eyewear.
The new headset is backwards compatible with the original base stations, and features a 10m x 10m tracking space. On top of that, the headset will reportedly support a new “Vive wireless adapter” which will finally let you experience VR without being tethered to a computer. The wireless adapter will use Intel’s WiGig to minimize interference from other wireless devices and deliver a seamless experience.
The new Vive Pro headset will not supplant the original Vive headset, but they’ll be sold as contrasting options — like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the basic model and the premium model. What that means is the Vive Pro will likely be very expensive, and the original HTC Vive might see a price cut similar to what we saw out of the Oculus Rift earlier in 2017.
Earlier this information leaked, and it appears the leak was genuine. The leaks to fell in line with predictions based on HTC’s recent tease, which suggested that the company’s VR headset was due for an update in the New Year. The tease featured an image of an HTC Vive with the words “New Year’s Resolution” right above it.
The new Vive Pro headset could go a long way toward addressing two of the key complaints about the HTC Vive’s current headset — that it’s starting to show its age with such a low resolution, heavy screen-door effect, and that being wired to a computer isn’t exactly the most comfortable way to immerse oneself in the virtual realms.
The HTC Vive Pro is scheduled to hit store shelves sometime in the summer of 2018.