The HTC Vive virtual reality platform will now sell for only $499, a price reduction of $100 from its previous retail price of $599. That in itself was a $200 price drop from its $799 price point at launch.
HTC has also announced that the Vive Pro, with its increased resolution and second external camera, will begin shipping on April 5 with a launch price of $799.
“The Vive Pro comes with dual-OLED displays, making for a crisper image resolution of 2880 by 1600 combined, a 78 percent increase in resolution over the current Vive HMD,” the company stated. “In addition to visuals, Vive Pro also features integrated, high-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier that creates a heightened sense of presence and sound through noise cancellation capabilities. These improved graphics and audio allow for users to experience VR with enhanced clarity, making it the most realistic and immersive VR experience on the market today.”
The Vive Pro will also be compatible with the new tracking stations that will allow up to four sensors to be connected in a VR space, offering a play area of up to 10 meters by 10 meters, a size that will likely only be attempted by location-based arcades and professionals using VR for high-level design or testing purposes.
The Vive Pro is aimed at the corporate and high-end enthusiast market, with the $799 price being for the headset only, customers will have to buy their own tracking stations and controllers if they’re not upgrading the headset from an existing Vive system. The visual upgrades will make it much easier to handle design work in the system, as well as bringing the obvious improvements to gaming. You’ll need a beefy rig to take advantage of everything the hardware can do, however.
“What this does, with the higher pixel density, is give you the ability to read in VR,” HTC Vive general manager Daniel O’Brien told Polygon. “We’ve had a lot of enterprise and professional use cases where they want to design a car or design a dashboard layout, and they need a higher resolution or pixel density in order to do that. So now that you can do that with this headset, we’re really excited about those scenarios and how game developers will take advantage of it, as well as the professional market.”
There will also be a bundle that includes all the hardware along with the Vive Pro HMD announced in the future, although no pricing information for that option has been announced.