HTC Vive Pro Pre-Orders Live, Ship April 5th

Details on full Pro kit coming in weeks

HTC's upgraded virtual reality head-mounted display is now available for pre-order for $799, the company announced today. The original Vive headset is also getting a price cut of $100 down to $499. HTC Vive Pro headsets begin shipping April 5th. All Pros purchased by June 3rd include a six-month trial to Viveport.

HTC did not detail its pricing or release date plans for the full HTC Pro kit, which includes the headset, new baystations and updated controllers. But Daniel O’Brien, general manager of of U.S. Vive, tells Glixel that news will be coming within a couple of weeks. The head-mounted display can be ordered on through other Vive retailers.

The Vive Pro comes with dual-OLED displays, making for a crisper image resolution of 2880 x 1600 combined, a 78 percent increase in resolution over the current Vive HMD. The Pro also features integrated, high-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier and noise cancellation capabilities.

The Vive Pro also recreates the basic design of the head-mounted design. Vive Pro features a redesigned head-strap that balances the weight of the headset more evenly and adjustment buttons for Vive users with glasses.

While the Vive Pro works with original base stations, it will also support the new base stations and can pair with four instead of two to create a tracking area of about 33 feet by 33 feet.

While HTC sees the Vive Pro headsets attracting professional customers - people who use the device for work, in corporate settings, research or as arcade units O’Brien also sees “really demanding customers” interested in the the Pro as well.

“The previous two years with the existing Vive we learned a lot from professional users, gamers and developers,” he tells Glixel. “We took a lot of feedback and used it to create this.

“They wanted us to address the resolution, the audio, the amount of time they spend in the headset and things like being able to read text in VR.”

While HTC doesn’t necessarily see the Pro replacing the original Vive, the company is currently only promising to continue selling that origina head-mounted display through 2018, then the company will reevaluate the market for the original Vive to see if they will continue to sell it.

While that original headset may not be sold past this year, O’Brien says that software support isn’t going anywhere.