HTC Vive Pro evaluation: Arms-on
HTC promises that the new Vive Pro headset is “elevated in just about every way” – featuring a larger resolution display screen, redesigned headstrap, integrated audio, and optional wireless guidance.
The authentic Vive was presently the greatest VR headset on the sector – and the most high-priced – so the Pro has a higher bar to obvious. We went fingers-on with it at CES 2018 to discover out how it stacks up and see if this genuinely is the greatest VR has ever been.
Price tag and launch date
HTC has not announced any launch date or pricing info for the Vive Pro, so we really do not know considerably nevertheless. It is a safe wager that it will launch some time in 2018 – possibly in the initial fifty percent of the calendar year – and that it will value much more than the authentic Vive, which is presently £599/$599.
There’s good information for early adopters while, as HTC has verified that in addition to the main Vive Pro bundle, it will sell the headset on its have for a lower selling price for people today who just want to upgrade their present Vive set up.
The corporation will also launch a wireless adapter so that homeowners of the authentic Vive and Vive Pro can obvious away their cables – but once again, we really do not nevertheless know when that will arrive out, or how considerably it will value. There is presently a third-celebration wireless adapter for the Vive from TPCast, but this will be the initial created by HTC by itself.
Structure and make
The initial detail you see about the Vive Pro is the vibrant new structure, which brings a vibrant blue sheen to the headset and headphones, when leaving the strap in black.
We just can’t say we love the new colouring, but it’s encouraging at the very least that HTC is keen to play around with the structure. Nevertheless, tedious as it may well be, we wouldn’t brain observing an all-black version of the Pro go on sale also.
The redesign is much more than just aesthetic while. HTC says it’s fully reworked the ergonomics of the headstrap to lower neck pressure and block out much more mild, with the purpose of producing the Vive equally much more comfy and much more immersive.
The result is that the Vive Pro is noticeably much more comfy than the authentic headset. The bodyweight is much more evenly dispersed across your head, which makes the whole headset sense considerably lighter.
Any improve that makes VR headsets much more comfy – and therefore producing simpler to ignore you’re even carrying 1 – is welcome, and we suspect that for large VR customers this will be a much more crucial upgrade than the resolution bump.
Further than that, the headset now features built-in headphones, two entrance-going through cameras, and twin microphones.
Specs and options
The headline upgrade below is to the display screen, which provides 1440 x 1600 pixels for every eye (for 2880 x 1600 in general), a sizeable move up from the 1080 x 1200 pixels for every eye (2160 x 1200 pixels merged) of the authentic Vive. In overall it truly is a 78 % maximize in pixels, which is not to be sniffed at.
The big difference is not rather revelatory, but it is visible when switching from 1 headset to the other, and when reading any text, which has constantly been a minor fuzzy in VR up to now. It won’t transform your VR practical experience, but at the identical time we’re never ever probably to complain about a display packing much more pixels.
Further than that, the Vive Pro features built-in headphones and guidance for 3D audio. The structure and set up will be rather familiar to anyone the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap, but now it’s built proper into the headset.
Monitoring will also see an advancement, as the Vive Pro will guidance Valve’s freshly announced SteamVR Monitoring 2., which features guidance for up to 4 foundation stations (up from two) and with it guidance for considerably more substantial tracking locations. The new max is 10x10m (so 100m2), which is comfortably more substantial than any room in any of our properties, so should be much more than more than enough for you also.
The wand controllers will apparently be having a slight update to make the most of the new tracking (while we didn’t get to take a look at people), but it truly is well worth noting that the Vive Pro just isn’t coming with the long-awaited Valve knuckle controllers.
The Viveport keep is also having an update, permitting you to browse the Vive application and sport library entirely inside VR, and soar right into quick demos of lots of applications in advance of you commit to shopping for them. That update should hit standard Vives long in advance of the Vive Pro arrives in merchants while.
The other major improve – and arguably the much more remarkable 1 – is the introduction of wireless guidance as a result of the new Vive Wi-fi Adapter. Most VR headsets boast an infuriating clutter of cables, which not only look messy, but also tether you to the spot and supply a major excursion hazard – not suitable for the room-scale VR that Vive is pushing.
It is not absolutely cable-free – you nonetheless have a wire working down from the headset to the battery pack, which you can preserve in a pocket. But it does help you save you from cables around your ft, leaving you with 1 significantly less detail to fret about – producing immersion into the VR globe simpler than ever.
HTC won’t remark nevertheless on the battery daily life you can count on from the Wi-fi Adapter, as it may well improve in advance of launch. Luckily it’s easy to swap batteries in and out, so you can constantly choose up a spare and preserve 1 charging when you play.
It is also well worth noting that the Vive Pro does not arrive with the Wi-fi Adapter as typical, so you’ll have to buy it separately. As we said higher than, it works with authentic Vive headset also.