HTC announced the new Vive Pro at the 2018 CES conference. With various improvements, the headset is paired with Valve’s upcoming Knuckles VR controllers in the next couple of months. HTC said that Vive Pro would first sometime in Q1 as headset only, which means user would use the old Vive wand controllers, with both headset and controllers utilizing 1.0 tracking. Later this year, the Vive pro will be shipped with the 2.0 base stations controllers.
Valve said they have been developing the new Knuckles VR controller for the past year. The controller is more compact than the bulky Vive wands, and are effetely worn on the hands as much as as it is held. This allows the user to let go of the controller, while having something physical to grab onto when simulating grabbing gesture. The controller can also provide finger tracking.
According Road To VR’s hands-on review, the headset offers 78% more pixels with a 2880 × 1600 resolution (1440× 1600 per display). This is a huge upgrade from the first generation Vive, which only offered 2160×1200 resolution which has easy to see sub pixels. Looking through the lens of the Vive pro, not only have sub-pixels vanished, it’s hard to even make out whole pixels.
“The increase in pixel density comes with an equal decrease in screen door effect (the grid-like black spaces between pixels). The screen door effect feels like it’s just on the cusp of disappearing; another jump in pixel density equal to the one we’ve seen here, and I’d venture to say it will be effectively invisible. When you aren’t looking carefully for it, especially in slightly darker scenes, you’ll hardly notice it.”
It seems the Vive Pro is a pretty impressive upgrade over the original Vive, but the Vive Pro price remains a mystery. It seems HTC’s position of Vive Pro is geared towards commercial and enterprise users, with their Vive Business Edition priced at $1200 each. If price of this new headset exceed the original price, would most likely disappoint the VR community.