HTC just announced a new Vive Pro with higher-resolution displays and built-in headphones. HTC has increased the resolution of the dual-OLED displays to 2880 x 1600 (1400 x 1600 per eye, and 615 ppi), a 78 percent increase from the 2160 x 1200 (1080 x 1200 per eye) resolution in the current Vive. The result is noticeable. During my brief time with the HTC Vive Pro today, I was able to read text far more easily, and graphics looked a lot crisper.
The only thing HTC still needs to improve is the field-of-view in my opinion. It still looks like you’re looking through a pair of goggles at times, although the resolution bump makes it feel like you’re not looking at pixels on a screen so much anymore.
Aside from the resolution bump, the design changes to the headset make it more comfortable to use. I disliked the original HTC Vive as it was top heavy and cumbersome to adjust. HTC has taken feedback and added a sizing dial at the rear so you can adjust the comfort level accordingly. It now feels like you’re putting on an Oculus Rift headset and adjusting it. The weight and balance also feels better, and the subtle changes make for a better headset. Although the press images make it look really blue, it’s actually a dark navy blue that looks subtle from afar.
HTC has also added built-in headphones to the Vive Pro, a useful addition. Much like the Oculus Rift, you can adjust them and they sit comfortably on your ears. There’s spatial audio support for VR games, but no noise cancelling so they’re only going to be good for a quiet room or area.
If you’re not interested in wires dangling to your PC, HTC is planning to launch a wireless adapter for the original Vive and Vive Pro. It snaps into the rear of the headset and means you won’t need to run a cable to your PC. This puts HTC’s Vive headset closer to Oculus’ Santa Cruz standalone prototype, and the changes make it closer to being as comfortable as the Oculus Rift with the improved tracking that HTC provides. We’ll have a full review of the HTC Vive Pro once it’s available in the next few months, but the early results look promising. All we need to know now is the price, and that could be key.