Monday, July 2nd 2018

HTC Announces the VIVE Pro Full Kit - Steam VR 2.0 Base Stations, Pro Controllers Included

The HTC VIVE Pro Full Kit is one for the enthusiast, with the full bundle launching with the updated Steam VR 2.0 compatible base stations for a total play area of an incredible 10m x 10m, over three times that of the original. Also included in the Full Kit is a new set of pro controllers in the iconic blue colour. The VIVE Pro headset itself features a resolution of 2880 x 1600 (an increase of 78% over the original), with a built-in deluxe audio strap and slimlined cable management.
Modular Tracking with Steam VR 2.0 Base Stations
Scale your tracking - from seated to standing to full 10x10 meter (32'x32') room-scale tracking. SteamVR 2.0 allows you to add up to 4 base stations for wide-area tracking avoiding occlusion, and ideal for multi-user environments, all at sub-millimeter accuracy. With triple the original play area and 4 base stations (around 1,075 square feet) VIVE Pro will be leading the way with the next generation of game developers, offering a VR experience like never before.
High Resolution Display for Perfect Clarity
VIVE Pro features dual-OLED displays with an industry leading resolution of 2880 x 1600 pixels to make graphics, text and textures look perfectly crisp and clear, so you get the visual fidelity required for even the most demanding use-cases and environments.

Featuring even-weight distribution and a 24% increase in face gasket surface area, VIVE Pro was ergonomically engineered to provide maximum comfort and flexibility, even with extended use. VIVE Pro is simple to get on and off and adjusts easily for head size, glasses and interpupillary distance (IPD).
The VIVE Pro Full Kit includes:
  • Vive Pro Headset (Hi-Res certified HMD and headphones​)
  • 2 x SteamVR Base Station 2.0
  • 2 x HTC VIVE Controller (2018)
  • Supports Steam VR 2.0 Room-scale tracking
VIVE PRO SPECS
  • Unprecedented presence with Hi-Res and 3D spatial audio
  • Stay immersed comfortably with higher display resolution, easy-to-use headset & cable design, and improved ergonomics
  • Chaperone technology
  • Free to move around wirelessly with VIVE Wireless Adapter*
  • *VIVE Wireless Adapter sold separately.
Headset Specs
  • Screen: Dual AMOLED 3.5" diagonal
  • Resolution: 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye (2880 x 1600 pixels combined)
  • Refresh rate: 90 Hz
  • Field of view: 110 degrees
  • Audio: Hi-Res certificate headset
  • Hi-Res certificate headphone (removable)
  • High impedance headphone support
  • Input: Integrated microphones
  • Connections: USB-C 3.0, DP 1.2, Bluetooth
  • Sensors: SteamVR Tracking, G-sensor, gyroscope, proximity, IPD sensor
  • Ergonomics: Eye relief with lens distance adjustment
  • Adjustable IPD
  • Adjustable headphone
  • Adjustable headstrap
Available for Pre-order from £1299.00 (~€1468, ~$1709)
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11 Comments on HTC Announces the VIVE Pro Full Kit - Steam VR 2.0 Base Stations, Pro Controllers Included

#1
atomicus
The price here is really quite baffling. You can pick up full original Vive set second hand for £400-500 (many of which are as good as new)... the Pro is not even close to being worth 3 times that. I am a big VR fan (I owned the Vive), but they risk killing it with this pricing before it even gets a chance to go mainstream.
Posted on Reply
#2
JalleR
I Agree, im also a big VR fan, and I have a Vieve and i Really like it and wanted a PRO HS until I saw the Price.... and that Price is just insane, add on top of that the Price of a 1080ti or 1180 if you want the best looking experience
Posted on Reply
#3
Octavean
atomicus said:
The price here is really quite baffling. You can pick up full original Vive set second hand for £400-500 (many of which are as good as new)... the Pro is not even close to being worth 3 times that. I am a big VR fan (I owned the Vive), but they risk killing it with this pricing before it even gets a chance to go mainstream.
I have mixed feelings about it.

Yes the price is high but the same was said about the HTC Vive when it first came out as well as the Oculus Rift. Recall at that time there were no used units to buy, it was full price or nothing and there had been no MSRP price reductions.

However, HTC has felt comfortable enough to release a successor with definitive hardware improvements whereas Oculus (the only mainstream competition) has not.

It's also worth pointing out that the Vive Pro can work with the old Lighthouse base stations and controllers as well as other companies licensing the underlying hardware for compatible products. This adds flexibility and the possibility of lower priced packages (Vive Pro bundled with older base stations ect).

Oculus has some serious obstacles to work around before they can come up with a direct competitor to the Vive Pro which means there is nothing out there to compete with it in its class. The technical choices made with the Oculus will likely result in a technical dead end when they attempt to address 10x10 meter (32'x32') room-scale tracking with what is essentially an optical camera tracking system they have going now.

So a part of the reason for the Vive Pro pricing full kit is indeed justified since they are the only show in town. Don't get me wrong, ~€1468, ~$1709 is well beyond what most people would pay. There are some professional uses for the Vive Pro though. Devs will pay that price and perhaps some specialty gaming venues or theme parks.

Current Vive owners really only need to buy the new Vive Pro HMD and they are good to go. That is already selling at places like Amazon for ~$798 new (~$638 used). They can sell their current Vive to help offset the price.
Posted on Reply
#4
deu
As people write, the price is key to the adoptation of this headset to the market. The thing is that this might not be pointed towards the 'mainstream' consumer but rather commercial use. If thats the case one could ague that HTC might not have been clear in their marketing material. According to HTC's header: 'VIVE Pro | The professional-grade VR headset'. That should indicate this might not be for the mainstream gamer :0 (and the pricing is thereafter.)
Posted on Reply
#5
Kohl Baas
Octavean said:
[...]
Yeah, but the Vive Pro set cost double that of it's predecessor did at the beginning. I remember well of the 850$ price tag it was graved for Rift's 750$. And I'm still not good with it since if I only want an HMD (which I do) I would prefer panoramic VR, you know, two displays, 5120x1600 resolution and stuff like that. 100% double-GPU scaling each GPU rendering one eye's image like it was promised first time 3D displays came into the scene.

Of course I wouldn't be able to pay that, but it would be nice at least to see them keeping promises making advancements.

I might buy a Rift though, because it's starting to get really cheap and for what I do I don't need much more like an HMD with head-track. That would be fixed character gaming, mean flying, racing and stuff where your brain have something to cling on. No virtual-motion-sickness.
Posted on Reply
#6
atomicus
Octavean said:
I have mixed feelings about it.

Yes the price is high but the same was said about the HTC Vive when it first came out as well as the Oculus Rift. Recall at that time there were no used units to buy, it was full price or nothing and there had been no MSRP price reductions.

However, HTC has felt comfortable enough to release a successor with definitive hardware improvements whereas Oculus (the only mainstream competition) has not.

It's also worth pointing out that the Vive Pro can work with the old Lighthouse base stations and controllers as well as other companies licensing the underlying hardware for compatible products. This adds flexibility and the possibility of lower priced packages (Vive Pro bundled with older base stations ect).

Oculus has some serious obstacles to work around before they can come up with a direct competitor to the Vive Pro which means there is nothing out there to compete with it in its class. The technical choices made with the Oculus will likely result in a technical dead end when they attempt to address 10x10 meter (32'x32') room-scale tracking with what is essentially an optical camera tracking system they have going now.

So a part of the reason for the Vive Pro pricing full kit is indeed justified since they are the only show in town. Don't get me wrong, ~€1468, ~$1709 is well beyond what most people would pay. There are some professional uses for the Vive Pro though. Devs will pay that price and perhaps some specialty gaming venues or theme parks.

Current Vive owners really only need to buy the new Vive Pro HMD and they are good to go. That is already selling at places like Amazon for ~$798 new (~$638 used). They can sell their current Vive to help offset the price.
The problem there though is that if you have the original base stations, you almost certainly have the original Vive, and you won't be able to sell it on while keeping the base stations (unless you get lucky selling to someone who has damaged their headset). So there's a false economy there.

Yes the Pro is an improvement, but based on everyone who's used one, it's not as much of a leap as the specs might suggest... and as I say, certainly not worth three times the cost of what you can pick up the original used (but good as new) Vive for now.

The fact Oculus lags behind somewhat means the Vive can be priced as high as they like, but it's not conducive to VR being adopted on a wider scale, which is what's needed for prices to actually fall in the future! Unless there are some major technological breakthroughs that enable production costs to be slashed in half, all we're going to get otherwise is small incremental improvements at obscene prices every few years, making VR the purview of the rich elite, or worst case, it goes away altogether. I don't think anyone wants either.
Posted on Reply
#7
Octavean
All very valid arguments are being made here for sure.

As already suggested though, the Pro may not be intended for mainstream at this juncture but there is a cost saving upgrade path despite that. There is a market for the Pro even at its current price IMO. Currently I see the Pro on Amazon for about ~$1500 USD. Also, as others have suggested the Pro version isn't likely a significant upgrade to current Vive owners despite its specs.

IMO the VR market can handle having a mainstream lower cost product like the Vive and the Oculus while having a pro version like the Vive Pro. This does not kill the market, doom VR or compromise the Pro.

History has shown us that prices will go down and competition helps to expedite this phenomena. No one gets the shiny new powerful stuff for a penny and a promise. That is just not how the industry works. I would love to have a dual GTX 1080 Ti, Titan X, Y, flipp'n Z (up the wazooo) or upcoming GTX 1180 SLI setup for the price of a single GTX 1030 (~$77 USD) but that just doesn't happen with or without crypto mining hijacking the MSRP. I'd also love to have a Core i9 7980XE Skylake X 18 Core processor (almost ~$2000 USD) for mainstream processor prices like ~$300 to ~$400 USD but that isn't going to happen either.

While these analogies may fail in some areas the do not fail with respect to the comparison of the differing intended target markets with respect to the given manufacturer's line of products.

By the time the current pro or something with similar specs become more mainstream the HTC Vive line may have moved the specs higher (larger FOV, higher resolution 4K and so on).

The important thing IMO is to keep the techno lust in check.

I have an Oculus Rift because the price was right. I like it well enough as is but I see where there is room for improvement. A number of the improvement I would like to see simply are not in the Vive Pro even though I believe the Vive Pro to be a better product (Vive too). This will take time and it will take generations of products to be realized / actualized.

People who are VR enthusiasts (myself included) need not put all their eggs in the Vive Pro basket now because it simply isn't the magic bullet that we truly want,.....its just the best on offer currently,....

Emphasis on the word "currently".
Posted on Reply
#8
xkm1948
This has been discussed a lot of time on r/vive The whole idea here is to get into the commercial space. There were LOADS of VR aracde startups that took advantage of low price of OG Vive. HTC wanted to get more out of the VR arcades thus here comes Vive PRO. Notice it is called Vive PRO, not Vive 2.0

For people with OG Vive it is really not that big of an upgrade. A real dual screen 4K VR HMD gonna need a lot more GPU power to maintain a constant 90+ FPS.
Posted on Reply
#9
atomicus
Octavean said:
All very valid arguments are being made here for sure.

As already suggested though, the Pro may not be intended for mainstream at this juncture but there is a cost saving upgrade path despite that. There is a market for the Pro even at its current price IMO. Currently I see the Pro on Amazon for about ~$1500 USD. Also, as others have suggested the Pro version isn't likely a significant upgrade to current Vive owners despite its specs.

IMO the VR market can handle having a mainstream lower cost product like the Vive and the Oculus while having a pro version like the Vive Pro. This does not kill the market, doom VR or compromise the Pro.

History has shown us that prices will go down and competition helps to expedite this phenomena. No one gets the shiny new powerful stuff for a penny and a promise. That is just not how the industry works. I would love to have a dual GTX 1080 Ti, Titan X, Y, flipp'n Z (up the wazooo) or upcoming GTX 1180 SLI setup for the price of a single GTX 1030 (~$77 USD) but that just doesn't happen with or without crypto mining hijacking the MSRP. I'd also love to have a Core i9 7980XE Skylake X 18 Core processor (almost ~$2000 USD) for mainstream processor prices like ~$300 to ~$400 USD but that isn't going to happen either.

While these analogies may fail in some areas the do not fail with respect to the comparison of the differing intended target markets with respect to the given manufacturer's line of products.

By the time the current pro or something with similar specs become more mainstream the HTC Vive line may have moved the specs higher (larger FOV, higher resolution 4K and so on).

The important thing IMO is to keep the techno lust in check.

I have an Oculus Rift because the price was right. I like it well enough as is but I see where there is room for improvement. A number of the improvement I would like to see simply are not in the Vive Pro even though I believe the Vive Pro to be a better product (Vive too). This will take time and it will take generations of products to be realized / actualized.

People who are VR enthusiasts (myself included) need not put all their eggs in the Vive Pro basket now because it simply isn't the magic bullet that we truly want,.....its just the best on offer currently,....

Emphasis on the word "currently".
I don't necessarily disagree, but the price here is far above what is acceptable and accessible for the vast majority of gamers. Even those already with 1080Ti's, the Vive Pro price tag is going to be too much to swallow, especially in light of what the original Vive can be picked up for second hand. The same could be said of the 4K 144Hz monitors we've seen come out recently... bleeding edge tech is aptly named given we practically have to sell an organ to obtain it ha!

We just have to hope HTC know what they're doing, and that there is enough interest to keep the momentum moving in the right direction, as like yourself I'm an avid VR fan and want to see it succeed. It's a little frustrating however, as I suspect we are some years away from the product that we all envisaged when the Oculus/Vive first broke ground, especially at a price we can stomach.
Posted on Reply
#10
The Quim Reaper
Don't get me wrong, ~€1468, ~$1709 is well beyond what most people would pay.
Techpowerup have made the mistake of assuming HTC use the official £1 = $1.30 exchange rate for the $1700 price, whereas infact we in the UK get royally raped with a £1 = $1 exchange rate pricing structure.

So the actual US Dollar price will likely be $1299.
Posted on Reply
#11
Octavean
Its also worth pointing out that this Vive Pro kit doesn't include the upcoming "Knuckles" controller. Not even an IOU for the "Knuckles" controllers.

For what it's worth, I'm seeing the Vive Pro kit for ~$1399 USD on Amazon now. I'm guessing the price will go even lower to the ~$1200 range in due time.
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