The recently launched HTC Vive Pro 2 VR headset offers a sharp 5K 120Hz desktop virtual reality experience. Priced at $1,399 for the entire package — and $799 for the headset alone (for those who invested previously in the Vive Pro or Valve Index) — the Vive Pro 2 retains the same design as the 2018 model and relies on older controllers but offers a wide range of attractive features for gamers. The 2,448 x 2,448 pixels per eye is a dramatic improvement over the previous Pro’s 1,440 x 1,600 pixels, which also offered a slower 90Hz refresh rate. Its LCDs also have RGB sub-pixels for increased sharpness.
Engadget reports that, in the game “Half Life: Alyx,” the Pro 2’s “resolution bump” gave an “extra level of polish” to the detailed environments. Regarding the controllers, the “same enormous wands that came with the original Vive in 2016 … work decently enough, but they’re not nearly as ergonomic as Oculus’s touch controllers, or even the Focus 3’s gamepads … [and are] particularly archaic after experiencing Valve’s hand-tracking SteamVR controllers,” bundled with the Index.
Since the Pro 2 is also a SteamVR headset, gamers can use the Index gamepads, but that adds $280 to an already expensive price.
Design of the black and purple Pro 2 is “still very comfortable, thanks to its plush cushioning along the front and back, as well as its balanced weight distribution … [but] near-field speakers would have been a solid upgrade from on-ear headphones, especially since the Pro 2’s cans tended to make my head feel warm.”
Players need “serious graphics power … to get the most out of the Vive Pro 2.” The Engadget reviewer tested it on a system running an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X and 32GB of RAM, which was enough for smooth performance although perhaps not always the 120Hz refresh rate. The reviewer concluded: “the Vive Pro 2 doesn’t sound like a great deal if you compare it to practically any other VR headset on the market,” but for VR enthusiasts, the Vive Pro 2 quality is “the new benchmark.”
CNET reports that the Vive Pro 2 offers “killer visuals .. most accurate possible tracking” and is “comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time.” The price, it adds, “confirms its target audience is strictly the capex crowd.”
HTC has been “the reigning champ for tracking accuracy” and the Pro 2’s external tracking system “looks and feels an awful lot like the original Vive Pro.” The 120-degree field of view (FoV) and 5K 120Hz display are “ridiculously good” — so good that it “highlighted how many of my favorite games and apps are in need of an upgrade.”
The software could use some updates as well, notes CNET. Although HTC’s Viveport software and SteamVR software are intended to work in sync, “when there’s an issue stopping the content from reaching your headset, however, things can get messy fast.” But these aren’t issues that enterprise customers will face. “HTC has made it clear this headset isn’t built to support gamers” and, although the VR is “superb,” it isn’t an affordable plug-and-play for casual gamers.
HTC Vive Pro 2 Review: “Jaw-Droppingly Good”, GamesRadar, 7/9/21
The Vive Pro 2 Is the Best VR Experience You Can Buy, but It’ll Cost You, Gizmodo, 7/13/21
10 Tips to Get the Most From Your HTC Vive Pro 2, Gizmodo, 7/20/21