It’s CES 2018, the largest consumer electronic convention in the world, and naturally virtual reality (VR) has an ever growing part to play. As is customary for the event, videogame announcements will be few and far between as a lot of the focus is on hardware and that’s no exception when it comes to HTC Vive. On Thursday HTC Vive teased its followers on Twitter with a cryptic images regarding a ‘New Years Resolution‘. Many experts and virtual reality (VR) fans guessed that the Tweet was an indicator that the HTC Vive press conference would reveal a new type of display for the VR headset. The company has revealed the first ever upgrade for its head-mounted display (HMD), improving both the resolution as well as integrating loudspeakers into the device.
The new headset will be called the HTC Vive Pro. It’ll feature two OLED displays with a resolution of 2880 x 1600 – very similar to the Vive Focus standalone headset – an increase of 78 percent from the original HTC Vive’s 2160 x 1200. This is a big jump for users, helping to make VR content richer and more immersive, by making it sharper and clearer than ever before.
In addition to the improved screens the HTC Vive Pro will also feature integrated speakers for the first time. Aiming to compete with Oculus Rift as an all-in-one product, the HTC Vive Pro’s new headphones offer a streamlined design that should make the new HMD more comfortable to wear over longer periods. As most VRFocus readers should be aware, the original headset required the addition of earbuds or external headphones until the arrival of the Deluxe Audio Strap. This was a $99 addition, making the HTC Vive even more expensive than it’s direct PC rival.
That’s not all however, The HTC Vive Pro will feature two microphones for noise cancellation capabilities and it’ll work with both 1.0 and 2.0 base stations.
The announcement certainly continues a trend in the VR industry for upgrades and improvements as the main headsets enter their second year. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) started the ball rolling with a slightly re-designed PlayStation VR, streamlining the audio connection and adding HDR pass through.
There has been a great deal of demand for VR displays with higher resolution and better framerates. Not only for its greater immersion and aesthetic value, but also for the reduction in eye-strain, dizziness and simulation sickness symptoms. The level of demand for ultra-high definition displays was clearly demonstrated by the response to the Pimax 8K headset Kickstarter, which drew in a massive response, accumulating over $4 million (USD) in funding by the end of the campaign.
There have been a number of recent developments with regards to display technology for VR, so the race for better quality displays can be expected to continue. VRFocus will be there to bring you all the latest news on the new HTC Vive display and other industry news.