CES 2018: HTC Vive Reveals New 3K VR Headset Vive Pro

by Jamie Feltham • January 8th, 2018

As expected, HTC announced an updated version of its Vive VR headset at its CES press conference in Las Vegas today. Meet the Vive Pro.

The new headset features a resolution of 3K achieved using two OLED panels with a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600, producing a sharper image than the previous model, which released in 2016.

While this might be considered an updated Vive rather than the all-new model some were hoping for, the display improvement is a significant upgrade. The current Vive features two 1080p displays offering a combined pixel count of 2160 x 1200. While this might produce a crisp image from afar, with the screens pressed up to your face inside a VR headset and magnified under a pair of lenses users are able to see the space between pixels. This is known as the screen door effect (SDE). Increasing the resolution of the display lessens this effect and produces clearer, more convincing images.

Bumping up to 3K won’t completely solve the issue, though; experts have said VR will need as high as 16K to reach the retinal resolution.

Elsewhere, Vive Pro also boasts integrated audio, meaning there’s no need for $99 the Deluxe Audio Strap add-on that was released for the original Vive last year. HTC is also releasing a separate add-on developed with Intel that will make the kit and the original Vive work wirelessly. The headstrap has been reworked too, taking more weight off of the front of the device, and there are dual microphones.

Crucially, HTC also confirmed the headset will support Valve’s upcoming refresh base stations, which will be shown at CES today.

Aside from that this is still the Vive you know and love; it’ll play all the same content your old headset did but you’ll now see Dogmeat’s loveable face a little clearer in Fallout 4 VR. Interestingly, HTC will be shipping an ‘HMD only’ upgrade this quarter, with a full package to arrive later in the year.

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What's your reaction?
  • gothicvillas

    Price? I guess FOV to be increased in Vive 2…

  • HybridEnergy

    Isn’t this the same res that the Samsung hmd has ? I mean, people who tried both said it was crisper compared to the VIVE but nothing to go cry home about.

    • Omar Ceja Salgado

      They claim there is a 78% increase, shouldn’t that be quite noticeable?
      I guess at least text would be readable now.

      • HybridEnergy

        I think it’s the PPI that matters for image clarity since your pupils are so up-close. That increase is claimed at about 37% .

    • Evgeni Zharsky

      Yeah I tried the Odyssey. I think the most noticeable aspect is reading text although it still doesn’t come close to your PC monitor.

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      yep, exactly the same resolution as the Samsung. Honestly, this didn’t impress me. They are doing a small upgrade just to stay in the game. I’m content with the Odyssey until something better comes along, which will probably be Santa Cruz later this year. Maybe Magic Leap…but they are probably gonna be Hololens pricing…F that.

      • Michael Dykier

        In re ML, I anticipate a basic “Developers edition” that will cost $1800 – but you will not need an additional computer (hence the hip unit). I fantasize about a future with reasonably normal looking glasses/headsets that use your phone for processing (wirelessly), out of the box “inside-out” positional tracking, with retinal quality graphics clarity… oh yeah and not exclusively VR, but also allowing for AR (visual computing in your office, home or entertainment venue). 5 years out, maybe (fingers crossed)?

      • HybridEnergy

        I’m not all that interested in AR to be honest, unless they are going to give me a girlfriend that walks around my kitchen. I just don’t visualize it as something as immersive and entertaining as VR which replaces all of reality. Good luck to Magic leap though, I love interesting tech. Samsung is okay, but it’s heavy and many of us like me are VIVE users who love the tracking and steam VR integration so we will wait for the PRO.

  • Rigelleo

    If FOV is the same, with this resolution the aliasing will ne reduced by 25%. I bet a price for the “HMD only” lower than the actual price of the Vive

  • Sean Lumly

    I was hoping for a higher resolution. But there are other factors to consider, and this may be a well-rounded device!

    There are plenty of choices in 2018! And VR is going to be significantly improved over last year..

    • koenshaku

      anything higher and the minimum requirement would be getting into a GTX 1080 territory.

  • koenshaku

    I wonder if this will be compatible with both base stations.

    • Omar Ceja Salgado

      It was said in the presentation that is is compatible with both old and new base stations, hence the option to upgrade without having to purchase base stations or controllers any more.

    • Bruce Miller

      You mean, the lighthouses?

  • Evgeni Zharsky

    When ?

  • “The current Vive features two 1080p displays offering a combined pixel count of 2160 x 1200.”

    small correction, those are not 1080p panels, 1080p means something specific (1920×1080). They are 1080×1200 panels, there is no standard for them so no shorthand exists.


    This looks like a great HMD! Period. So, the question burning in my mind is; how much is this juicy piece of VR goodness gonna cost? They keep hammering on the “premium” description, so I feel like it’s gonna cost similar to the original VIVE, like $799-$899 range.

    • James Friedman

      With the Wireless option maybe $7-800. I think I can wait for a price drop though this time around 😉

  • Wow!

  • SchoolHomeVR Technology Assist

    No one is mentioning the dual cameras in front for 3D Real AR! The resolution is GREAT! I remember how good my Gear VR Looked in the S8 with it’s 2960×1440 these are 2880×1600 SOUNDS GREAT TO ME! Hopefully I can find a way to use my Oculus Touch with it, I hate those stick things..,..

  • superdonkey

    calling this 3k is just like pimax saying 8k but noone seems to be crying “marketing scam!”

    • Joe

      no one cares what someone named Noone is crying about…

  • Dan Brown

    Until they widen the FOV to a minimum of 140 degrees and 4k res forget it. I feel like I am getting tunnel vision in VR and the pixilation and blurriness are horrible.