HTC announces Vive Pro with increased resolution and built-in headphones


Tweet from HTC teases new Vive model to be unveiled this coming Monday at CES

The company is also upgrading its tracking system to enable tracking of up to 10×10 meters. There's nothing wrong with the current Vive configuration.

For instance, if they have the HTC Vive that's been out for a good year or so now, the Vive Wireless Adaptor will bring Intel's WiGig technology to the same headset that has been in the market, coming later in the year to cut that big cord.

The new adapter will be shipping in Q3, with no price announced. That's 1400 x 1600 per eye - greatly improved over the 1080 x 1200 resolution of the existing version. These days, a mid-range GPU can handle that resolution reasonably well, and high-end GPUs have enough headroom to dabble with supersampling to improve the image quality even further. No device on the market other than VR HMDs featured such high-resolution panels with that refresh rate and at that size. The latter feature should please developers looking to create content. The new resolution puts it on par with the Samsung Odyssey headset, one of the Windows Mixed Reality family, and will mean a sharper, clearer picture.

There's no word on pricing or availability yet, but the Vive Pro should command a premium. This includes audio, display, and hardware design. And the higher resolution likely comes with a higher price tag.

Vive Pro also features built-in, high-performance headphones with an in-line amplifier to offer a heightened sense of presence and an overall richer sound. The new headset boasts 4,608,000 pixels to fill, which is a 78% increase. The trackable space is up to 10m x 10m. The new optical sensors for Steam VR Tracking 2.0 support the new base stations and the old base stations. The headset is compatible with exiting SteamVR base stations. On the current model, the headphones were only available as an add on.

The original HTC Vive stays on sale.

First published January 8 at 1:06 p.m. PT. Update, 1:58 p.m. PT: Adds that existing consumers will also be able to buy the Vive Pro later this quarter.

Considered the largest upgrade to the Viveport platform since launch, Viveport VR will take the traditional 2D catalog and show it off will immersive and interactive previews. HTC did not say what thier function is.

But for those interested in owning the next step, HTC hasn't committed to exact release dates - for the Vive Pro, or for a proper successor to the now available Vive.

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