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HTC Vive Pro Raises The Bar For VR

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We had a chance to go eyes-on with the Vive Pro at CES 2018, and the new HMD is arguably the best VR headset yet. It features an improved screen that offers a 2880×1600 resolution AMOLED display, which is 78 percent sharper than the original Vive. This immediately makes text more legible and objects off in the distance look clearer. The pixels don’t completely disappear, but it’s hard to notice them if you aren’t looking for them. The headset’s field of view remains roughly the same, however, at 110 degrees.

The Vive Pro also features a new ergonomic design that is more comfortable and balanced than its front-heavy predecessor. Like HTC’s Deluxe Audio Strap (DAS) attachment for the Vive, the Vive Pro comes with built-in headphones, and they do a great job blocking out sound this time around. The headset also features a dial to adjust tightness like the DAS, which we prefer over the strap design of the original.

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The exterior of the HMD has a dark navy blue tint to it, and the front of the headset features two cameras as opposed to the Vive’s singular solution. The Vive Pro will ship with Valve’s new lighthouse trackers, which offer more tracking space and allow you to pair up to four of them together for even larger play spaces.

The Vive Pro seems geared towards VR enthusiasts and VR arcades. Unfortunately, HTC did not announce a specific price or release date for the headset, but it did mention that original Vive users would be able to upgrade to the HMD using their existing controllers and trackers.

The company also showed off its WiGig wireless attachment for the Vive, which it developed in collaboration with Intel. It attaches to the back of the headset, and comes with a battery bank and allows the Vive and the Vive Pro to go wireless. We got a chance to try out the device and can say that it’s able to deliver a smooth, low-latency performance. The tradeoff, however, is that the video feed does look significantly compressed. It is worth mentioning that the WiGig isn’t finished, so this could potentially improve over time.

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