HTC Announces Vive Pro VR Headset With Enhanced Resolution And Wireless Support

Vive Pro or Vive? If you're all about HTC's VR headsets, then this might be a conversation you're privately having with yourself.

If you already own the first Vive then you might be wondering if you need to upgrade the virtual reality headset in your life. If you're thinking of splashing out for the first time and you're sold on HTC's VR goodness over its rivals, then you may be wondering whether you need the newest model or you could save some money by picking up the first Vive.

Both have similar setups, run the same VR games and experiences and have access to much of the same peripherals to improve that immersive feeling.

Wareable verdict: HTC Vive Pro review | HTC Vive review

We've spent a fair amount of time with both the Vive and the Vive Pro to get a better sense of the key features that will go some way to helping you decide which of the two Vive headsets is a better fit for you.

Got any additional questions? Let us know in the comments section below.

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HTC Vive Pro vs Vive: Design and comfort

vive pro vs vive

While these headsets might look very similar from the front, beyond that sit some differences that will undoubtedly impact on the way you experience the the action. It really depends on how big a deal you think those differences are going to be for you.

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The most obvious one is the way that the headsets are kept in place on your head. The original Vive relies on an adjustable elasticated strap, while the Vive Pro now features a hard plastic band with significant cushioning around where the back of your head rests against the band. It also uses a twisting wheel to tighten up that fit. HTC says that the new Vive Pro is lighter than the original, but if we're being honest, this weight difference isn't too noticeable. Still, we'd be inclined to say the Vive Pro feels more comfortable to wear for longer periods. Just.

Something we do favour on the newer headset are the headphones that are built into the strap. Both for convenience and because it's one less trailing cable, this is a great addition to the setup. It includes physical volume controls and delivers impressively rich, powerful sound quality. We should say though that you can purchase the same Deluxe Audio strap and ditch those additional headphones for the first Vive, as well.

In the comfort department, the Vive Pro does additionally support the ability to adjust the distance of the lenses from your eyes, which does make it more accommodating for glasses wearers.

One other feature to mention (which will mean more to developers) is the additional front-facing camera you'll be able to spy on the front plate. It's not clear how this feature will be utilised, but does appear to indicate that this will give the Pro an upper hand on some future VR experiences that does embrace the additional camera.

If we had to pick one we'd prefer to VR in, then the Vive Pro would just shade it. It's addressed some of the obvious design issues and limitations of the original. Plus, it's got that lovely new blue look we're fans of as well.

HTC Vive vs Vive Pro: The setup

HTC Vive Pro v Vive: Comparing the two VR headsets

Setting up a proper VR headset like the Vive takes a bit of time, so if there's any way that process can become easier, we're all for it. Essentially you still need a PC powerful enough to run the operation along with a pair of Vive controllers and a couple of HTC's base stations to unlock the ability to track movement in VR.

Connecting the headset to a PC still requires the same process, although the link box that brings the two together has changed for the better with the Pro. There's one less cable to worry about and a button on the box to switch on the headset when you're ready to play.

But back to those base stations and controllers, and this is important. The current Vive Pro setup doesn't include the base stations or the controllers that you can now get bundled with the Vive. It does use the same base stations and controllers as the first Vive, but if you don't already own them you will need to pay an additional $134.99 each for the base stations and $129.99 each for the controllers. Or invest in the Vive Pro bundle (more on that later).

HTC Vive Pro vs Vive: Display

vive pro vs vive

The headline feature on the Vive Pro is the improved display, which may well be the biggest reason you might be persuaded to go for the newer Vive.

As well as moving from OLED to AMOLED display technology, HTC has ramped things up on the resolution front. The Pro offers 2,880 x 1,600 (615 PPI) resolution in comparison to the 2,160 x 1,200 (448 PPI) offered on the first Vive. As a result, there should be an upgrade in just how clear and sharp the VR environments look when peering through those lenses.

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