LAS VEGAS, NV — HTC today announced its next-generation Vive Pro VR headset at CES 2018. The new head-mounted display will have several noticeable improvements over the existing Vive: it will feature higher-resolution displays, a redesigned headstrap, built-in headphones as well as two microphones and two front-facing cameras. The new unit will retain backward compatibility with tracking and gaming peripherals for the original Vive and be available in the coming months.

The new HTC Vive Pro VR HMD is equipped with two OLED screens featuring a 2880×1600 combined resolution (1440×1600 per eye, 615 PPI), which means that the new headset displays 78% more pixels than its predecessor, significantly increasing picture quality. The resolution increase leaps the Vive Pro ahead of the Oculus Rift as well as Windows Mixed Reality headsets in terms of graphics quality. It should be noted that the extra pixels will require additional graphics processing horsepower, so the new Vive Pro headset might need a more powerful system than the original Vive to offer a decent user experience. Meanwhile, HTC says nothing about Vive Pro’s refresh rate and field-of-view and it remains to be seen whether we are going to see any improvements on these fronts with the Vive Pro.

Another significant upgrade of the HTC Vive Pro is built-in headphones featuring an integrated amplifier to guarantee an improved audio quality as well as two microphones for enhanced noise cancellation. HTC does not quantify improvements, so it is impossible to tell whether the headphones are any better than mainstream ones from known brands, but integration of the headset will clearly make the setup a bit cleaner and more comfortable to use now there is one less cord to plug. Speaking of comfort, the new Vive Pro also features a revamped headstrap with enhanced ergonomics that balance the weight of the headset and features a special sizing dial.

The upcoming HTC Vive Pro headset also has two front-facing cameras instead of one on the original Vive. HTC does not disclose the purpose of the second camera but only says that “it is designed to empower developer creativity”. Keeping in mind that HTC is working with different developers on various projects, including integration of real physical objects into virtual worlds, the additional cam may come in handy. Meanwhile, two cameras can also be used to improve position tracking.

HTC does not announce pricing and exact retail launch date of the Vive Pro headset just yet but only says that more details will be released soon. The Verge reports that the Vive Pro will be available to existing customers already this quarter.

Gallery: HTC Vive Pro

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Source: HTC

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  • Yojimbo - Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - link

    Its not the 2, though. The second generation of VR will have more features than just a boost in resolution. Calling this Vive Pro second generation would be like saying the XBox One X is not an 8th generation console but rather a 9th generation console. If they came out with the second generation now it would be a lot more expensive than the pro is going to be.
  • theuglyman0war - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - link

    why drop the price at all?
    It isn't as if the initial VR HMD devices were released at an insane price point that the mainstream balked at as being a ridiculously unrealistic price-point value for a consumer entertainment system that wasn't even standalone.

    HaHeHAr D Har... ( Quick some one shoot me while my back is turned. ) Hoo Ha Har..
  • Yojimbo - Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - link

    equals ("=") is present tense so I used present tense in my reply.. The second generation is not out yet. Pro is not the second generation, it's an intragenerational boost in resolution. I'm not sure what you meant by bringing up backwards compatibility. I never suggested there wouldn't be backwards compatibility in the upcoming generations. New features will be introduced that developers will need to program for to take advantage of, though. Pricing can't be irrelevant, since it is the topic of the thread. When is pricing ever irrelevant to a purchase, though?
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Monday, January 8, 2018 - link

    VR is dead like 3D TVs.
  • Yojimbo - Monday, January 8, 2018 - link

    VR is just getting started.
  • gerz1219 - Monday, January 8, 2018 - link

    VR is about where HDTV adoption was in 2001, where 720p rear projection panels cost $5000, looked horrible, and had almost no available content. HD wasn't dead in 2001, it just didn't make sense at that time. It's going to be quite a while before we can own VR headsets with 4K per eye and no wires.
  • Pinn - Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - link

    yay future
  • theuglyman0war - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - link

    As a fan of everything 3D...
    Why shouldn't VR die?
    It's just another amazing stereoscopic experience?
    I suspect if the majority of people lost an eye they would hardly make a fuss?
    And I am almost certain that if all Audio stereo came at a price premium the same as Sterescopic devices That we would all be listening to music in mono today and Geoff Emerick and George Martin would have never realized their stereo dreams when they battled the industry, audiences and the Beatles themselves to convince the world that a soundscape including "depth" was a superior experience.


    I do not understand the oohing and ahhing during tabletop rts AR demos when the majority of that experience of your toys coming alive has been possible for awhile now simply by playing the same .. say Age of Empires or Starcraft II with the benefit of 3d-vision and multi monitor surround immersion?

    Screw the cyclops world and the knee jerk "3d is a gimmick" ditto head lemmings. We do not deserve the two eyes we were born with!
  • Pinn - Monday, January 8, 2018 - link

    Any advancement in cord cutting? Either wireless transfer or backpacks?
  • timecop1818 - Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - link

    Yes, did you even look at The pro version comes with Intel WiGig wireless adapter.

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