The new Vive Pro was announced at CES this week. Vive pro will be compatible with the Vive‘s original light houses and with the new Lighthouse 2.0’s. The big news however is that the resolution has been improved by 78%. I realize that is a rather strange statistic but its made from the difference between the resolution of the Vive (2160 x 1200 combined for both eyes) and the Vive Pro (2880 x 1600). That small amount of resolution increase will however make a huge difference.
Vive Pro has integrated audio with what appears to be a deluxe audio strap 2.0 as standard. The deluxe audio strap sold separately for the original Vive. The strap while not cheap made a huge difference to the comfort of the original Vive and it is good to see what appears to be an improved version included with the Vive Pro.
Sources say the Vive Pro will first be available as an upgrade for existing Vive owners, presumably as the HMD unit by itself. There has been no news of any discounts for existing users or of the price in general. However, when it comes to gadgets, we all know a “Pro” version usually means a much higher price bracket.
A wireless adapter was also announced (this time with an Intel partnership) no real details have been released beyond images of models jumping about with it attached. Several reports of people who got to test the wireless adapter all confirm it works very well. The same was said for the TpCast, an already released wireless adapter that goes for the very high price of £320. However, many report it in a real world setup the TpCast is not always reliable and has a limited range. It remains to be seen what the new adapter will be like, due to release at the end of the year and also no announced price at the time of this article. The Vive website makes it clear that the wireless device will not be bundled with the Vive Pro.
The new Lighthouses will also be smaller, cheaper (apparently), have a larger range and will support up to 4 lighthouses in a single room space. Allowing even greater precision to the already impressive Vive tracking.
Given the massive drop in price between when the Vive released and now, I am inclined to wait as long as I can before upgrading. My fear is that the Vive Pro will be a substantial price increase over existing Vive‘s and the wireless kit will be just as over priced as the TpCast. I am a huge fan of VR, I love my Vive and still use it on a daily basis. However, I have always felt the price is disproportionate to the costs to the company. HTC know how good VR is, they know we will pay them and they take a bit of an advantage of that. This year we can expect to see more rival units enter the market so there is a chance for competitive pricing. Time will tell.
Official announce video:
What are your thoughts? Will you be buying one on day one?