The main feature is the inclusion of a 120 Hz 5K (4896 x 2448) display, which equates to approximately 2,500 pixels per eye. Not only is this a huge increase over the base options, including the Oculus Rift S (2560 x 1440), it also beats big hits like the Valve Index (2880 x 1600) and the HP Reverb G2 (4320 x 2160).
- The Vive Pro 2 Is the Best VR Experience You Can Buy, but It’ll Cost You
- SanDisk Ultra 512GB MicroSDXC Card
- HTC Vive Pro 2 Specs
- Physically, Your Standard VR Headset
- Similar Products
- Valve Index VR Kit
- Oculus Quest 2
- HTC Vive Cosmos
- HTC Vive
- HTC Vive Pro 2 specifications, features
- HTC Vive Focus 3 specifications, features
- Gallery: HTC Vive Pro 2 | 13 Photos
- Gallery: HTC Vive Pro 2 | 13 Photos
- Convenient control
The Vive Pro 2 Is the Best VR Experience You Can Buy, but It’ll Cost You
Five years after the original Vive and Oculus Rift were released, HTC and Oculus / Facebook have parted ways when it comes to the VR headset lineup. In one camp, the Oculus Quest 2 is an affordable standalone VR headset that is very simple to set up and use. HTC is in the second camp, with a PC headset for advanced VR enthusiasts. Even though the Vive Pro 2’s starting price of $ 800 (headset only) is more than double that of the Quest 2, it’s also a key component when it comes to creating the best possible home VR experience you can get right now. But is it really worth all that cash?
The Vive Pro 2 is almost identical in design to the original Vive Pro, although HTC has made some important tweaks. The company not only refreshed the headband to be a bit more comfortable, but also improved the headset to provide a 50-50 weight balance, which makes the Vive Pro 2 noticeably more pleasant to wear during long VR sessions. Another advantage of the updated Vive Pro 2 design is that it is also a bit easier to tilt the goggles upwards so you can quickly see what is going on in the meat space.
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Expensive, controllers have not changed, weak through-hole cameras, no integrated wireless support
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But the real upgrade for the Vive Pro 2 is its new optics. The headset now offers a 5K resolution (2448 x 2448 per eye), a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, and a wider horizontal field of view of 120 degrees. Together, this provides the sharpest and most immersive virtual reality experience you can get at home – without the $ 3,000 enterprise headsets like the Varjo VR-3. Now I should mention that some headsets, such as Valve Index, offer a much larger vertical field of view (95 degrees for the Vive Pro 2 versus 110 degrees for the Valve Index), which you will surely notice when comparing both sides – side by side. That said, as the index only offers 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye compared to 2448 x 2448 for the Vive Pro 2.
Thanks to this 5K resolution (4896 x 2448 in total), the visuals of the Vive Pro 2 are particularly sharp. With such tiny pixels, HTC has almost completely eliminated the screen door effect that allows you to see the space between pixels in lower resolution headsets. And coupled with 120Hz graphics support, the Vive Pro 2 is able to avoid most of the major causes of motion-induced nausea. I rarely suffer from VR disease, but found the visual quality improvements made worrying about any nausea a total reflection.
The Vive Pro 2 still includes a handy IPD manual dial (which now changes from 57 to 70mm) and built-in surround speakers that drop from the side, which I prefer rather than plugging in my own headphones (which can be done with a USB-C dongle) . Not having to fumble around to put the headphones on when using VR just makes the whole process a lot simpler, and I found that having speakers hovering near your ears instead of pinned to the side of your head adds to the overall immersion, assuming that they are in a relatively quiet space. Sorry, but I don’t make rules: no dogs are allowed to cry or bark in the VR room.
Note: HTC is also recalling the Vive Pro and no longer sell it directly. You can still find it from a third-party retailer if you want to save money, but this piece is more aimed at those wondering if it’s worth switching from an existing Pro to a Pro 2.
HTC Vive Pro 2 Specs
|Resolution||2440 by 2440 (per eye)|
|Refresh rate||120 Hz|
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Physically, Your Standard VR Headset
The Vive Pro 2 headset looks like a darker version of the Vive Pro, and isn’t much different from the Vive Cosmos. It is black rather than blue, but otherwise almost identical in appearance. The front panel connects the original Vive points (which the base stations use for position tracking) with the front Vive Cosmos stereo cameras (which the headset uses to track their surroundings). This section of the headset can be moved forwards or backwards from the mask part using the button in the lower left corner, allowing you to adjust the distance between the lenses and the eyes to improve focus. A dial in the lower right corner of the front panel allows you to adjust the pupil distance (how far apart the lenses are horizontally to best match the distance between your eyes).
The head harness has the same design as the Vive Pro, a three-point system with wide plastic shoulders on the sides and a wide strap on the top. The back of the harness is heavily padded and has a knob to pull it against the side arms, and the top strap can be manually adjusted with Velcro fasteners.
A pair of earphones is built into the headset, connected to the sides of the harness with their own plastic arms. The arms swivel forward and backward to fit the earcups around your ears, and tilt and tilt back to listen to your surroundings. The left earcup has a volume control on the rear edge and the right earcup has a microphone mute button (the microphone is built into the front of the headset, not the ear cups). The headphones can be removed and replaced, but there’s no headphone jack to just use your own.
Valve Index VR Kit
Oculus Quest 2
HTC Vive Cosmos
The 16-foot cable comes out of the headset and through the side of the harness to drop behind you before plugging into the included Link Box that connects to your computer. The box is a rectangular gray plastic case, about the size of a wallet, with a headphone cable port on the front and a power button. The rear panel has a power supply connector, mini-DisplayPort and USB 3.0 (cables are included with the mini-DP-DP adapter). There is an LED indicator at the top of the Link Box. As usual with a tethered VR headset, you need to be careful where the cable is so you don’t trip over it.
Triple-clicking the menu button on the controller also activates another passage system that allows you to see the room around you with a green haze. These two systems are great for preventing real-world objects from tipping over and generally making your virtual reality life easier.
HTC Vive Pro 2 specifications, features
The HTC Vive Pro 2 comes with two low endurance 2.5K RGB LCD screens with a resolution of 2448×2448 pixels per eye, giving a total of 4896×2448 pixels or, as HTC calls it, 5K. Supports 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rates, but the Vive wireless adapter is limited to 90Hz. The headset has a field of view up to 120 degrees (FoV) and has removable headphones with Hi-Res audio certification. HTC Vive Pro 2 comes with integrated two microphones and Bluetooth for connectivity. Peripherals connect via a USB Type-C port. When it comes to sensors, the Vivo Pro 2 includes a G-sensor, gyroscope, proximity sensor, IPD sensor and SteamVR Tracking 2.0. Users can adjust IPD, headphone position, head strap and lens distance.
HTC Vive Pro 2 supports a refresh rate of 120Hz
HTC Vive Focus 3 specifications, features
The HTC Vive Focus 3 is equipped with two 2.88-inch LCD panels with the same resolution as the Vive Pro 2. It supports a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a field of view up to 120 degrees. You get two microphones with echo cancellation, a 3.5mm Hi-Res certified audio output and dual drivers with directional speakers. There are also two integrated microphones. The Vive Focus 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform, which has double the CPU and graphics performance compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile XR platform. Connectivity options on the Vive Focus 3 include two USB 3.2 Gen-1 Type-C, Bluetooth peripheral ports v5.2 and Wi-Fi 6. There are four tracking cameras, G-sensor, gyro and proximity sensor.
The HTC Vive Focus 3 is powered by a 26.6 Wh battery that is removable and replaceable. The front gasket and back padding are magnetically attached for easy removal and cleaning. 150mm wide face interface and IPD range from 57mm to 72mm is available. It also has a design with a quick-release head strap.
Vive Focus 3 controllers have capacitive sensors on the trigger, joystick, and thumb rest area. There are Hall sensors on the trigger and handle buttons, as well as a G-Sensor and a gyroscope. They have a declared battery life of up to 15 hours and are charged via a USB Type-C port.
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Note that despite the leap in improvement, HTC hasn’t changed the recommended PC specs for the Vive Pro 2. This means you don’t need to upgrade your PC when you buy the Pro 2. At least not right away (more on that below).
Gallery: HTC Vive Pro 2 | 13 Photos
Gallery: HTC Vive Pro 2 | 13 Photos
Just remember to keep track of which Vive Pro is which as they look virtually identical. The Pro 2 has a black and purple color scheme, but its front console, strap, and headphones all look the same as before. The difference, however, becomes obvious when you put on the Vive Pro 2: its 5K screen offers 2448 by 2448 pixels per eye, which is a huge leap from 1440 by 1600 pixels with the Pro. In addition, the LCD Pro 2 displays have RGB sub-pixels, making everything even sharper. The screen can also refresh up to 120Hz, which is noticeably smoother than the previous 90Hz panel, and I appreciated the wider 120-degree field of view which makes the virtual worlds even more immersive.
These specs may sound familiar as the Vive Focus 3 also has the same 5K screen, it just has a slower refresh rate of 90Hz. But I was more impressed with the Pro 2 as it can easily run any PC game or VR application. Meanwhile, the Focus 3 has a limited selection of mobile titles, and I’ve never been able to successfully stream higher-end VR from my gaming PC. And frankly, even though I did manage to get it working, streaming is still a clear step towards native performance.
I’ve been visiting old and newer games on Pro 2 and everything looked fantastic. I was constantly distracted by the detailed environments in Half Life Alyx – a game that looked great on the Index, but has an extra level of refinement thanks to Pro 2’s uneven resolution. It’s a bit like jumping from 1080p video to 4K video. At first glance, you may not notice the difference, but as you start checking for finer details like grass and wood grain, you may find that you are working with more pixels.
Hopping back into Superhot, it almost felt like I was playing Superhot 2. I could see a lot more detail in the cyberpunk introductory room. And while its aesthetics are relatively simple, the enemies, weapons, and environment of the game all looked more detailed than I remembered. I also spent more time than expected staring at almost everything in the VR version of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. This game already looked impressive on a regular monitor, but in 5K VR I was able to appreciate Senua’s intricate character model even more.
While it all looked impressive, I’d really like HTC to upgrade the Pro 2 controllers. Its full suite includes the same huge wands that appeared on the original Vive back in 2016. They work decently enough, but aren’t quite as ergonomic as the Oculus touch controllers and even the Focus 3 gamepads. They’re especially archaic after trying out Valve’s Steam VR Controllers, which are included in the index. Since it’s also a SteamVR headset, you can always use Index gamepads with the Pro 2, but that’s another $ 280 compared to an already expensive headset.
It would also be nice to see the HTC Vive tweak the Pro 2 design a bit. It’s still very comfortable thanks to the soft cushioning on the front and rear as well as the balanced weight distribution. But the company may have taken some tips from the Valve Index. The near-field speakers would be a solid upgrade for the over-ear headphones, especially as the Pro 2’s cans kept my head warm. The headset’s displays were also generating a decent amount of heat, which led to some sweaty gaming sessions.
HTC says the improved resolution makes tasks like reading text in a game much easier and more natural, and the pixel-packed nature of the display means the screen door effect (also known as SDE) is also virtually non-existent.
At this point, it is worth talking about the two Vive Pro 2 purchase options:
- Headset only (for updaters who already own the HTC Vive or Vive Pro) – Available for pre-order at a discounted price of £ 659 / $ 749 / € 739.