Surprise, surprise: the starting HTC Vive Pro price is mighty expensive – in fact, it’s equally as pricey as when the original HTC Vive first launched. Yes, HTC Vive Pro pre-orders have been opened for $799 / £799 / AU$1,199 for the device to arrive by April 5, the headset maker has announced.
The pre-orders have gone live through HTC’s own Vive.com (opens in new tab) website and other retailers, like Amazon (opens in new tab). That rather ‘enthusiast-level’ price gets you a free six-month trial to HTC’s Viveport Subscription, a game subscription service that offers five games or videos per month from more than 400 pieces of content available. Otherwise, the service costs $8.99 or £8.99 a month, up from the standard $6.99 or £6.99 for existing subscribers who get this latter price through the end of the year.
Beyond that, that’s about all that comes in the box – not even HTC’s existing controllers will be included. The firm is working on new controllers, as well as a Wireless Adapter piece built using Intel WiGig technology, that will be sold separately.
The major improvements include a much-sharper, 2,880 x 1,600-pixel resolution across both lenses, improved spatial audio with an included headset and enhanced ergonomics for a comfier fit. Luckily, PC hardware requirements haven’t changed much, still accepting the Nvidia GTX 1060 and AMD Radeon RX480 graphics cards at a minimum.
Clearly, the HTC Vive Pro is aimed at the headset and virtual reality (VR) platform’s most ardent fans. Otherwise, HTC would have included controllers and Lightboxes for the purposes of using the device and positioning it, respectively.
HTC Vive v1 kneels to meet Oculus Rift
In related news, HTC took this opportunity to bring down the original HTC Vive’s price closer to its primary rival, the Oculus Rift, at $499 / £499 / AU$879. Granted, that still makes the cheapest HTC VR headset 100 bills more than the $399 or £399 (about AU$510) Oculus Rift.
And, hey, at least this package comes with everything you need to play, such as the position-tracking Lightboxes and motion controllers. Obviously, this is now the entry-level version of its VR headset.
It makes complete sense for HTC to make this price drop, and frankly is currently a far better value for those that have yet to dig into HTC Vive.
We’ll have to wait and see what those newfangled controllers and Lightboxes for the HTC Vive Pro end up costing, but already HTC’s newest VR headset appears to be quite an investment.
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