HTC has announced a new version of the HTC Vive, dubbed the HTC Vive Pro, during CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

This new model comes with a number of improved features including an enhanced resolution and high-res audio support. 

What does HTC Vive Pro offer and how does it stack up against the original device? We've got all the details you need to know. 

  • HTC Vive: Single front-facing camera, adjustable velcro straps
  • HTC Vive Pro: Dual front-facing cameras, adjustable comfort dial

The HTC Vive Pro is immediately recognisable despite some striking design changes. Where the original headset came in black, the new HTC Vive Pro comes in a bold blue with two new front-facing cameras. 

The classic pocked-marked design remains - the sensors still a key part of the VR tracking experience, but the new design now includes some of the comfort features missing from the original Vive. 

Where the HTC Vive features three velcro straps that need adjusting to get the right fit, the HTC Vive Pro has an updated design that allows for a more comfortable fit and easy adjustment. The new design is similar to the deluxe audio strap which is an optional extra for the HTC Vive but standard for the HTC Vive Pro. A dial at the back allows for easy fit and comfort adjustment. 

The new design of the HTC Vive Pro also features enhanced ergonomics to give a more balanced fit by decreasing weight on the front of your face while you play.     

The original HTC Vive has a single front-facing camera which allows for a room view while gaming. The new HTC Vive Pro has two front-facing cameras that look like eyes on the front of the headset. These are primarily designed for developers to take advantage of, but will likely allow for better tracking of your environment as you game too. 

  • HTC Vive: 1080 x 1200 per eye (2160 x 1200 overall resolution)
  • HTC Vive Pro: 1400 x 1600 per eye (2800 x 1600 overall resolution)

The biggest change with the HTC Vive Pro is the increase in resolution. With the HTC Vive Pro, HTC has increased the resolution of the dual-OLED displays to 2880 x 1600. That's 1400 x 1600 per eye compared to 1080 x 1200 per eye on the original HTC Vive. Now with 615ppi, the HTC Vive Pro is said to have had a 78 per cent increase in resolution. 

This resolution change should improve clarity during gaming as well as enhancing immersion for gamers. The HTC Vive Pro will offer clearer text rendering and a crisper picture whether playing games or watching videos while using the headset. 

The HTC Vive Pro does not offer a 4K resolution, but this means that the headset is still accessible to a wide market of gamers without requiring extreme gaming machines.

  • HTC Vive: 3.5mm headphone input/concealed USB input
  • HTC Vive Pro: High-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier
  • Both offer built-in microphones, the HTC Vive Pro includes dual microphones with active noise cancellation

High-quality audio is now integrated as standard. Where the original HTC Vive only had 3.5mm connections allowing you to use your own headphones or headset, the new HTC Vive Pro includes earcups built right into the design. 

This is a welcome design improvement as plugging your own headphones into the original device meant adding more cables to the headset that could get in the way during gaming and ruin immersion.

The HTC Vive Pro includes high-performance headphones with a built-in amplifier that delivers a superior audio experience including a "heightened sense of presence" and better spatial sound. 

The new design of the HTC Vive Pro also includes dual built-in microphones with active noise cancellation for a superior communication experience when playing multiplayer or co-op games. 

The HTC Vive Pro is compatible with the current HTC Vive base stations meaning theoretically if you own the original VR device you can just buy the new headset and it will work fine with the original setup. New and improved base stations will come in future along with the official wireless adapter. 

The updated base stations are said to offer an increased level of Room-Scale tracking with up to 10x10 metre playspace available in future. 

The HTC Vive Pro represents a welcome upgrade to the VR experience from HTC. This new device delivers a new level of comfort that was sometimes missing from the original, but the real improvement here is the resolution upgrades and audio enhancements. A better visual experience will offer improved immersion and superior VR gaming on a platform that's already pretty incredible. 

The HTC Vive Pro will go on sale later this year we don't have any word on price currently.