HTC Vive Pro Review: Hands-on with the Next Generation of VR
HTC promises that the new Vive Pro headset is “elevated in every single way” – giving a greater resolution display screen, redesigned headstrap, integrated audio, and optional wi-fi help.
The original Vive was previously the most effective VR headset on the industry – and the most costly – so the Pro has a substantial bar to crystal clear. We went hands-on with it at CES 2018 to uncover out how it stacks up and see if this genuinely is the most effective VR has ever been.
Price tag and release day
Following the announcement of the substantial-conclude VR headset, HTC declared in March that the HTC Vive Pro will set buyers back £799/$799 and that it’d be unveiled worldwide on five April 2018. These in the British isles that want to pre-purchase the headset can do so right now from OverClockers British isles, despite the fact that there is exceptionally minimal stock.
There is good news for early adopters even though, as HTC has verified that in addition to the main Vive Pro bundle, it will offer the headset on its possess for a decrease selling price for people today who just want to enhance their current Vive set up.
The company will also release a wi-fi adapter so that homeowners of the original Vive and Vive Pro can crystal clear absent their cables – but yet again, we do not still know when that will appear out, or how substantially it will cost. There is previously a third-occasion wi-fi adapter for the Vive from TPCast, but this will be the initially created by HTC by itself.
Layout and establish
The initially issue you observe about the Vive Pro is the vibrant new design, which delivers a bright blue sheen to the headset and headphones, whilst leaving the strap in black.
We simply cannot say we adore the new colouring, but it’s encouraging at minimum that HTC is willing to participate in all around with the design. Nevertheless, boring as it may possibly be, we would not brain seeing an all-black edition of the Pro go on sale too.
The redesign is extra than just aesthetic even though. HTC says it’s absolutely reworked the ergonomics of the headstrap to lower neck strain and block out extra light-weight, with the intention of building the Vive the two extra relaxed and extra immersive.
The final result is that the Vive Pro is drastically extra relaxed than the original headset. The bodyweight is extra evenly dispersed across your head, which will make the full headset sense considerably lighter.
Any change that will make VR headsets extra relaxed – and thus building less complicated to fail to remember you’re even donning a single – is welcome, and we suspect that for heavy VR end users this will be a extra vital enhance than the resolution bump.
Past that, the headset now boasts designed-in headphones, two front-going through cameras, and dual microphones.
Specs and capabilities
The headline enhance in this article is to the display screen, which delivers 1440 x 1600 pixels for every eye (for 2880 x 1600 in general), a sizeable phase up from the 1080 x 1200 pixels for every eye (2160 x 1200 pixels put together) of the original Vive. In whole it’s a 78 p.c raise in pixels, which is not to be sniffed at.
The distinction isn’t really revelatory, but it is noticeable when switching from a single headset to the other, and when examining any textual content, which has normally been a little fuzzy in VR up to now. It won’t remodel your VR knowledge, but at the exact same time we’re never possible to complain about a display packing extra pixels.
Past that, the Vive Pro involves designed-in headphones and help for 3D audio. The design and set up will be rather acquainted to any individual the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, but now it’s designed right into the headset.
Monitoring will also see an advancement, as the Vive Pro will help Valve’s freshly declared SteamVR Monitoring 2., which involves help for up to four foundation stations (up from two) and with it help for substantially more substantial tracking locations. The new max is 10x10m (so 100m2), which is easily more substantial than any room in any of our houses, so should be extra than adequate for you too.
The wand controllers will evidently be getting a slight update to make the most of the new tracking (even though we did not get to examination those), but it’s worth noting that the Vive Pro is not coming with the long-awaited Valve knuckle controllers.
The Viveport shop is also getting an update, allowing you to search the Vive application and sport library completely within just VR, and jump right into quick demos of numerous apps ahead of you dedicate to purchasing them. That update should hit standard Vives long ahead of the Vive Pro comes in retailers even though.
The other important change – and arguably the extra exciting a single – is the introduction of wi-fi help through the new Vive Wireless Adapter. Most VR headsets boast an infuriating litter of cables, which not only seem messy, but also tether you to the place and present a important excursion hazard – not excellent for the room-scale VR that Vive is pushing.
It’s not completely cable-no cost – you even now have a wire managing down from the headset to the battery pack, which you can retain in a pocket. But it does preserve you from cables all around your ft, leaving you with a single less issue to get worried about – building immersion into the VR earth less complicated than ever.
HTC won’t remark still on the battery lifetime you can assume from the Wireless Adapter, as it may possibly change ahead of launch. Thankfully it’s effortless to swap batteries in and out, so you can normally select up a spare and retain a single charging whilst you participate in.
It’s also worth noting that the Vive Pro does not appear with the Wireless Adapter as regular, so you will have to invest in it separately. As we explained earlier mentioned, it operates with original Vive headset too.