HTC has announced a new turbo-charged version of its Vive virtual reality headset called the Vive Pro. The field of view, too, is unchanged at 110 degrees, but the onboard tracking system is considerably enhanced: While the original Vive is capable of accurate tracking with a 15 square feet area, the Vive Pro copes with a 33 square feet playfield and boasts dual front-facing cameras to the Vive's singular camera.
Pre-orders for the headset start today and will begin shipping out on April 5.
Those looking to pick up the first generation will also receive the Viveport subscription, which gives users the opportunity to pick up five titles every month from a catalogue of around 400 VR experiences. The new headset can still be used with the base stations and controllers that came with the standard Vive, so it's simple to upgrade. HTC said in its initial January announcement that the individual headset would be sold first in Q1 2018 with a full bundle planned later this year.
And with the reveal of the Vive Pro headset price, HTC revealed it will scrape a further £100 off the original headset taking it down to £499, which is pretty reasonable for one of the more premium VR headsets available. The Vive includes the headset, two base stations, two controllers, Fallout 4 VR, and a free Viveport trial.
There's room for both approaches of course, but HTC may be shooting itself in the foot by not offering a workable out-of-the-box Vive Pro.
Despite the new drop in price, HTC's Vive is still more expensive than Oculus' pricing for the Oculus Rift, which can be purchased for $399 (still making Rift the most affordable between the two companies). "In addition to visuals, Vive Pro also features integrated, high-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier that creates a heightened sense of presence and sound through noise cancellation capabilities". The Vive earned an "excellent" rating in PCMag's review; we gave it props for its "immersive experience" and included accessories. "Whether you're a VR enthusiast or new to the platform, there's never been a better time to join the most complete VR platform available". The higher spec HMD will cost £799 with pre-orders starting now on Vive.com and selected retailers including Scan, GAME and Overclockers.