HTC’s Vive Pro gets sharp enough to read text, goes wireless

The HTC Vive is big, expensive, the resolution isn’t great, and with the recent price cut its competitor the Oculus Rift has seen, it’s not as appealing as it once was. Luckily for HTC adherents out there, there’s going to be a new HTC headset with a number of improvements over the original — according to the official CES 2018 announcement.

The HTC Vive Pro Headset

htc vive pro announcement mvimg 20180108 133556

The new HTC Vive Pro headset, as it will be called, features an improved resolution of 2,880 x 1,600 — the original headset only had a max resolution of 2,180 x 1,200. That’s a 78 percent increase in overall resolution, with 615 pixels-per-inch. HTC claims the resolution is now high enough to comfortably read text on the new headset. It features built-in headphones, like its competitor the Oculus Rift. It will also feature built-in dual microphones.

One improvement that will be music to the ears — and nose — of anyone who wears glasses. The new Vive Pro features a lighter overall weight, and it’s been redesigned to be more comfortable while wearing corrective eyewear.

The new headset is backwards compatible with the original base stations, and features a 10m x 10m tracking space.

The new Vive Pro headset will not supplant the original Vive headset, but they’ll be sold as contrasting options — like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the basic model and the premium model. What that means is the Vive Pro will likely be very expensive, and the original HTC Vive might see a price cut similar to what we saw out of the Oculus Rift earlier in 2017.

The Vive Wireless Adapter

HTC Vive Wireless Adapter

On top of that, Vive Pro will support a new “Vive wireless adapter” that will finally let you experience VR without being tethered to a computer. The wireless adapter mounts to the top of the headset, like a set of high-tech antlers, and it will use Intel’s WiGig to minimize interference from other wireless devices and deliver a seamless experience. A battery pack is included, too.

The new Vive Pro headset could go a long way toward addressing two of the key complaints about the HTC Vive’s current headset — that it’s starting to show its age with such a low resolution, heavy screen-door effect, and that being wired to a computer isn’t exactly the most comfortable way to immerse oneself in the virtual realms.

The brand-new Viveport

There’s another big change coming to the Vive platform, but this one is software-based. The Viveport platform, HTC’s store for VR content and experiences, is getting a major overhaul. According to the announcement today, Viveport will now feature a fully VR interface, like a virtual storefront you can explore, instead of the simple layover it featured before.

This is a move HTC describes as a VR-first storefront model. It sounds a lot like how the Oculus’ Store has worked since launch.

“Viveport is moving to a VR first experience model, and with the all-new Viveport VR, we are changing the way consumers discover, experience and acquire VR content,” said Rikard Steiber, president, Viveport.  “Until now, there has not been a shopping and browsing experience that takes advantage of the full functionality of VR. Available in early access today, Viveport VR increases interaction with content and offers developers a preview that showcases the quality of their titles and experiences.”

Though the announcement was leaked earlier, the official press release features a bit more information about what we can expect from the changes to the platform going forward. The HTC Vive Pro is scheduled to hit store shelves sometime in the summer of 2018.

Updated 1/8/2018 to fully reflect information in the HTC Vive Pro press release. 


Forget painting-style transfers, this A.I. creates realistic portraits of fake people

Do these images look computer-generated? Nvidia researchers recently published a paper on a new variation on style transfer artificial intelligence that's able to generate entirely new portraits.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.

Leaked HP laptop listing reveals entry-level Nvidia MX250 GPU

Alongside powerful graphics cards, Nvidia may have more mobile GPUs to show off at next year's CES show in January. The MX250 has been spotted in a listing for an HP laptop, potentially replacing the entry-level MX150.

ZSpace’s laptop brings education to life with its own 3D technology

The ZSpace laptop wants to overhaul education and training by offering affordable access to 3D mixed reality through a bespoke screen and glasses technology that is already supported by a wide array of applications.

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?

ViewSonic’s 1080p gaming monitor lets you experience the action in style

ViewSonic is catering to gamers with its latest monitor, the XG240R. Featuring a 1080p 144Hz panel, RGB lighting, and a fast 1ms response time, you can conquer your opponents and do it in style.

Here’s why you might still be using Wi-Fi after cellular 5G launches

Cellular 5G might be around the corner and promising to deliver lightning fast speeds, but the folks over at the Wi-Fi Alliance have a few reasons why they think you shouldn't dump Wi-Fi just yet.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.

Canceling Amazon Prime is easy, and you might get a refund

Don't be intimidated. Learning how to cancel Amazon Prime is easier than you might think. You might even get a partial or full refund on the cost, depending on how much you've used it. Check out our quick-hit guide for doing so.