Your daily selection of the hottest trending tech news!
According to Ars Technica
HTC’s higher-resolution Vive Pro, first announced back in January, is setting new records for the price of a mass-market virtual reality headset. In pre-orders starting today ahead of planned April 5 shipments, customers will have to shell out $799 for the improved Vive Pro headset, a price that does not include any controllers or Lighthouse tracking base stations.
While the original Vive also cost $799 when it launched nearly two years ago, that package included two controllers and the two tracking stations necessary for un-occluded, room-scale VR. Existing HTC Vive owners will be able to reuse those accessories if and when they upgrade to the Vive Pro headset. New users, however, will currently have to purchase them à la carte (an HTC representative tells Ars that pricing for a separate “full kit” Vive Pro package will be announced soon).
HTC currently sells Vive controllers for $130 each and tracking base stations for $135 each. That means new Vive Pro customers will have to pay $1,330 for a higher-fidelity version of the same basic hardware included in the package for the original Vive (which is being reduced to $499 today, from the $599 price it has held since last April).
While the Vive and Vive Pro both technically work with other controllers (including some competing motion-tracked options), the vast majority of Vive-compatible VR software is designed to work with the hand-tracking “wand” controllers that have been a standard part of the Vive package since launch. At least one tracking base station is required to follow the Vive headset as a user moves their head, though two are recommended for more “room-scale” applications.
Oculus previously charged $199 for its optional hand-tracking Touch controllers, which were first made available about nine months after the Rift headset’s early 2016 launch. Oculus cut the controllers’ price in half four months later and then, four months after that, made two Touch controllers a standard part of the $399 Oculus Rift bundle, which also includes two tracking cameras.
Oddly enough, new Vive Pro customers would actually seem to be better off spending $499 on a classic Vive package (with its included set of two controllers and two tracking stations) rather than buying those accessories separately for about $530. In addition to saving about $30, they’d get a bonus, original Vive headset for their trouble.
The Vive Pro includes two 1440 x 1600 resolution displays—a 78-percent increase in pixel count over the 1080×1200 screens in the original Vive—as well as an improved, adjustable headstrap with integrated over-ear headphones. In recent hands-on testing, Ars’ Sam Machkovech said the new hardware placed us “officially in new VR fidelity territory.” We’ll have a more detailed review shortly before the headset’s April 5 launch.
- Got any news, tips or want to contact us directly? Email firstname.lastname@example.org