It’s been a while since we saw a hardware update to the Vive line, but HTC has made up for it by launching two 5K-resolution virtual reality headsets at the same time: the PC-connected Vive Pro 2, and the standalone Vive Focus 3.
With a starting price of US$749 without controllers or base stations for the Vive Pro 2, and the Vive Focus 3 costing even more, these aren’t direct alternatives to the affordable $299-and-up Oculus Quest 2 – instead they’re high-end, high-performance pieces of kit for serious gamers and professionals.
That 5K resolution is one of the key upgrades on both headsets, as is the 120-degree field of view (up from 110 degrees on the previous models) that lets you see more in your peripheral vision. These new headsets also use RGB sub-pixels on their displays for a more detailed, fluid picture.
The HTC Vive Pro 2 is the headset you’ll need to plug into your PC (HTC hasn’t shared recommended specs yet, but expect them to be high-end). It delivers 2,448 x 2,448 pixels of resolution to each eye, and a super-smooth 120-Hz refresh rate that should reduce the chances of VR motion sickness.
There’s adjustable interpupillary distance (IPD) included here, for getting focus that’s perfect for your eyes, as well as support for 3D spatial sound through Hi-Res Audio certified headphones (you can bring your own headphones if you prefer).
You still need base stations for tracking, and if you want to use the stations and controllers from the original Vive Pro then you can get the Vive Pro 2 headset on its own for $749. If you want the whole package to set up form scratch, you’re looking at $1,399. Preorders are open now, with shipping on July 4.
As for the HTC Vive Focus 3, it works completely independently, no PC required. Again you get the 2,448 x 2,448 pixel resolution for each eye, only this time the refresh rate is 90-Hz. There’s a swappable battery here, too, so you can always have a spare on hand, and HTC says battery life is good for two hours.
Everything is run by the capable Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip, and there’s inside-out tracking on board, which means no need for base station trackers. IPD settings are again available for more precise visual tuning, and there are integrated speakers that HTC is promising offer “superior audio” for your VR experiences.
While the HTC Vive Focus 3 will run games, it’s aimed firmly at businesses, as the $1,300 price tag might suggest – this is for companies who use VR as part of their production workflows and have the available budget for something like this headset. Indeed, HTC has launched a new Vive Business suite of software alongside this headset. Preorders are open now, with sales starting on June 24.
While the Oculus Quest 2 has helped bring affordable VR closer to the mainstream, HTC is targeting the higher end of the market with these professional-grade headsets, both of which certainly impress in terms of aesthetics and specs.
Source: HTC Vive