After unveiling the new Vive Pro HMD at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January this year, HTC has now announced that the upgraded higher-resolution VR headset is ready for pre-order with immediate effect for $799. The orders will start shipping out from April 5.
Also, the company has dropped the price of the existing HTC Vive kit for the second time by $100, bringing it down to $499. So, in effect, the price of the HTC Vive has dropped by $200 from its launch price of $699.
What is important to note here is the fact that the company is selling the current HTC Vive for $499, which is the price for the entire kit, including two handheld controllers as well as two base stations for tracking.
The $799 HTC Vive Pro, on the other hand, will be shipped minus the controllers and base stations, which indicates that the company is largely expecting users of the Vive to upgrade to the Pro, in which case it makes sense not to ship the new Vive Pro as a complete kit, because existing users will have the controllers and base stations in their possession.
This means that Vive Pro buyers who don’t already own a Vive will be required to shell out an additional $135 and $130 for a single base station and a single controller, respectively.
It also means that if you are looking for a complete kit, with two base stations and two controllers, you will be set back by $1,329 ($799 + $135 + $135 + $130 + $130), making it a very expensive product, indeed.
Another point worth noting is the huge disparity between the U.S. and Europe prices. The Vive kit sells in Europe for €599, or $737, which is a good $238 higher than the Kit’s U.S. price, and at €879 ($1,082) the Vive Pro is costing $283 more than what it does in the U.S.
“The Vive Pro comes with dual-OLED displays, making for a crisper image resolution of 2880 by 1600 combined, a 78 percent increase in resolution over the current Vive HMD,” HTC said.
“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. These improved graphics and audio allow for users to experience VR with enhanced clarity, making it the most realistic and immersive VR experience on the market today,” said the company.
“With the Vive Pro we are delivering the best quality display and visual experience to the most discerning VR enthusiasts,” Vive GM, United States, Daniel O’Brien, said.
“Our goal has always been to offer the most premium VR platform available and to drive adoption for VR.
“By lowering the price of the current Vive, we are making VR more accessible while expanding the potential market for developers.
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,” O’Brien added.
Speaking to Polygon the Vive GM said that the higher pixel density will give users the ability to read in VR.
“We’ve had a lot of enterprise and professional use cases where they want to design a car or design a dashboard layout, and they need a higher resolution or pixel density in order to do that,” he said.
“So now that you can do that with this headset, we’re really excited about those scenarios and how game developers will take advantage of it, as well as the professional market,” O’Brien added.
Here’s a side by side comparison between the new HTC Vive Pro and the standard HTC Vive