VR gaming has been on the cusp of its ‘next gen’ for what feels like an age — but with the newly revealed HTC Vive Pro 2 headset, it’s finally getting the kick up the arse it needs. The Vive Pro 2 is the latest and greatest in PC VR tech, and it’s rocking some impressive features. From a 5K resolution to a 120-degree field of view, facial tracking and 3D audio there’s nothing this headset can’t do.
It’ll break the bank, but give you the world in exchange.
Vive Pro 2: Australian Pricing & Availability
The HTC Vive Pro 2 headset (alone) will retail for $1,299 in Australia. If you pre-order now and you already own the basic Vive kit, you can grab it a bit earlier for $1,219.
The Tracker 3.0 accessory will cost an additional $219 and the Facial Tracker will also cost $219. If you’d like to purchase the full Vive Pro 2 kit, which includes the Base Station 2.0 and Vive controllers, you’re looking at $2,199 for the lot. (All new Vive users will need to purchase this version.)
The Vive Pro 2 headset is available for pre-order from today and will be available to purchase from June 4 in Australia. The full kit will be available from August.
The Vive Pro 2 is a 5K VR headset
So, what’s the big deal with the latest Vive headset? Well, that’s down to its display capabilities. While it mostly resembles the last iteration of the Pro, there’s a few key differences that make this version more exciting.
It’s one of the first mainstream 5K VR devices. Previously, VR headsets have been plagued by low res displays that cause blurry visuals and headaches for users — and while we don’t know how nausea-inducing the Vive Pro 2 will be, an improved screen is an exciting prospect.
Each screen is 2448 x 2448 pixels (2.5K each), offering a 120Hz refresh rate with a 120-degree field of view. Both displays are compatible with Display Stream Compression (DSC), a feature which reduces the bandwidth demands of high definition video and makes graphics cleaner.
The Vive Pro features a 2880 x 1600 resolution screen, 90Hz, a 110 degree field of view and has no DSC support — so you can see how far the device has come even in the last few years.
According to HTC, this all adds up to a display with minimal motion blur and crisp graphics that should improve immersion and reduce eye fatigue. For everyone who currently experiences nausea when using VR, it should technically be a better headset for you, but you’ll have to test it yourself to see the difference.
It rocks 3D audio
The Vive Pro 2 was created with a focus on improved comfort but this version will rock some killer sound, too.
The device’s in-built earphones boast Certified Hi-Res Audio and 3D spatial sound via an integrated amplifier. If you want to get a bit fancier, you can also hook up your own headphones.
New tracking devices let you capture facial expressions
The Vive Pro 2 is compatible with all past Vive trackers, but it’s also releasing alongside a brand new bit of tech. The Vive Facial Tracker is an intriguing new accessory being sold alongside the Pro 2 that allows players (and developers) to track lip movements in real time.
Via two cameras and an infrared illuminator, the detachable tracker watches lip and jaw movements and perfect replicates them within games or apps. It’s a technology that’s not currently implemented in most VR games, but there’s potential it could play a larger part in future projects.
Whether it becomes a central part of VR use or not, it’s an exciting new development — and one that could make games more engaging.
It’s just part of the reason why the Vive Pro 2 is such an intriguing prospect, despite the cost.
If you’re thinking about making the upgrade and you have a spare two grand lying around, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is a very interesting investment. VR gaming has major potential that’s yet to be realised, and this could be the leap up that proves why the technology is so exciting.
Stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for more on the Vive Pro 2 and the future of VR gaming.