HTC Vive Pro Won’t Replace Original, Available as Upgrade Option

How much of an upgrade option remains to be seen.

HTC Vive has certainly started CES 2018 with a bang. After releasing a teasing tweet a few days ago it’s now come to light that the company was working on an upgraded headset, the HTC Vive Pro, and a wireless adapter. Details yet to be revealed include how much the new headset will cost. What isn’t happening however is the original HTC Vive being replaced.

During HTC Vive’s press conference today in Las Vegas the company has confirmed the normal HTC Vive will continue to be sold as per usual. The HTC Vive Pro will be offered as an upgrade option which will become available this quarter. It’ll also be sold as a HMD only – so it won’t include base stations or any other accessories.

“There’s a clear need in the VR market for a premium VR experience with high resolution display, integrated audio and the best components available today in a headset,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM U.S., VIVE in a statement. “Vive Pro offers an immediate upgrade for both VR enthusiasts and enterprises that want to utilize the best VR experience.”

What remains to be seen is how HTC Vive plans on pricing the new design. With Oculus Rift now staying put at $399 USD and PlayStation VR massively leading the way with its similarly price headset, will HTC Vive Pro come down below the current $599. Even with the additional improvements to the HMD and Valve upgrading the base stations to 2.0, a high price point may still make the headset unobtainable for many.

Yet this still showcases a more aggressive tact than sometimes previously seen by HTC Vive, especially with the addition of its own Wireless Adaptor which will go head to head with TPCAST. TPCAST originally received funding and help through the Vive X Accelerator, announcing compatibility just for HTC Vive. Then late last year the company revealed an Oculus Rift version. HTC Vive’s adapter doesn’t use TPCAST tech, instead using WiGig technology from Intel.

As VRFocus learns more about the HTC Vive Pro and HTC Vive’s plans for the future of VR, we’ll let you know.

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