By: Nick Gambino
HTC has carved out its own little niche in the VR world with higher-end headsets aimed at enterprises rather than the gamer or entertainment consumer. Now the company is doubling down with the Vive Pro 2.
Announced at their own conference, ViveCon, this past Tuesday, the Vive Pro 2 features 5k resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 120-degree FOV. If you’re keeping tally, that level of resolution and field of vision are both better than what Oculus offers with the Quest 2. Though, they did just start offering a 120Hz refresh rate last month.
They were able to achieve minimal motion blur in the Vive Pro 2 thanks to the inclusion of Display Stream Compression or DSC which is typically used in monitors. This also helps get rid of that screen door effect which kills the illusion in older VR headsets.
The one thing HTC has riding against them here is the price point. With a cost that is 2-3 times that of the Oculus Quest 2, they honestly have to market to businesses to sustain sales or even justify its existence.
To be fair, the Vive Pro 2 is being sold as a higher-end, PC-connected VR headset. For a true comparison, we should look at the other headset HTC just unveiled—the standalone Focus 3.
Like the Pro 2, the Focus 3 sports a 120-degree FOV and an impressive 5k resolution in both eyes. This too is being promoted as a business-centric headset. In fact, it reads like a Quest 2 Pro. It runs on the same chip (Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2) but with better resolution and field of vision. It’s also got expandable storage by way of microSD and a removable battery for easy swap-out. It lasts 2 hours on a single charge with a quick charge available via USB-C.
Noticeably missing in the new Pro 2 and Focus 3 is eye tracking. There was eye tracking in the previous Vive Pro so the lack of it in the newest iteration stands out. Seemingly, the decision to do away with it was a price concern and a lack of interest or use in the business world.
The Focus 3 will cost you $1,300. The Vive Pro 2 starts at $749 if you’re upgrading from the original Vive Pro, otherwise, it’ll cost you $799 but once you add on all the necessary accessories it’ll set you back a cool $1399. You can pre-order now, for June 27 (Focus 3) and June 4 (Vive Pro 2) shipping.