CES 2018: HTC announces the Vive Pro and Vive Wireless add-on

by: John -
More On: CES 2018 Vive Pro Vive Wireless

Yes! A thousand times yes! HTC had a press conference at CES today and two new products were announced that's got me excited.

First up, we have a nice little refresh of the Vive called the Vive Pro. The refresh boasts a 1440x1600 resolution for each eye, totaling a 2880x1600 resolution, which is 78% more than the original Vive. The dual AMOLED screens still offer the same FOV at 110 degrees.

Interestingly, the headset loses HDMI and now connects via DisplayPort although there is USB-C, which could mean a single cable connection. We won't know until it's released or HTC confirms some more information.

The Vive Pro also features a new design with the strap that's similar to the Deluxe Audio Strap. Two large headphones supply positional sound to the user. 

On the front are now two cameras, which opens up the possibility for AR capabilities. I wonder if they could also be used for inside-out tracking as well. There's also two mics for noise cancellation meaning better communication quality with friends.

The Vive Pro will work with both the original Lighthouses and the upcoming update SteamVR 2.0 versions, which allow for up to four stations to be used for a larger room scale area. For those who already own the Vive and just want to update the HMD, you'll be able to in Q1 of this year. The complete set with new controllers and new Lighthouses won't be out until a later date.

If you're tired of the wires, HTC is also releasing a Vive Wireless Adapter into the fray. Coming in Q3, it uses Intel's WiGig technology and will be compatible with both the original Vive and Vive Pro. Operating on the 60Hz band, the Vive Wireless Adapter should take VR to the next level. We'll just have to see how long the battery lasts, how it performs, and how easy it is to use. The TP-Cast has been the only solution for wireless VR so far, but it's had its own issues. Perhaps the one by HTC will be the solution that offers up a solid experience all around.

No word on pricing for either product, but it sure is exciting to see these two announced. You can bet I'll be in line to purchase both when they become available.

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