The VR sphere hasn’t been standardized by any stretch. There are so many options, from smartphone attachments like Google’s Cardboard and Daydream, to the standalone Samsung Gear or the Oculus Rift and its more affordable counterpart Oculus Go.
In the latter category, we have the HTC Vive, which now has a premium option, the new HTC Vive Pro. The question on everyone’s minds is whether the Pro is enough of an improvement on the original Vive to justify the huge price tag of $799 — vs. the slightly less overwhelming $499 for the original model.
By virtually all accounts, when it comes to the HTC Vive vs HTC Vive Pro, the latter does indeed offer the best quality on the VR market right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth the price of admission.
So let’s have a look at what that price tag gets you, and whether it’s worth it.
HTC Vive Pro… pros
The Vive Pro is a thing of beauty.
The Pro pros are pretty straightforward here, folks. The image quality is a huge improvement. You get an AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,880×1,600 (615 PPI), vs. the classic Vive’s OLED 2,160×1,200 (448 PPI). And the tracking area more than doubles.
You’ll also get built-in headstrap headphones and a dual built-in mic.
Not too shabby.
HTC Vive Pro cons
The cons aren’t huge, as far as quality goes, but they may be enough to keep you away.
One major reason to avoid the Vive Pro is that VR is still, relatively speaking, in its infancy. This is a pretty major investment for something that might see major changes in the coming years. The Vive Pro is very much a toy for early adopters looking to get in on the ground floor.
Or, as Erik Klain at Forbes puts it, “VR isn’t ready for prime-time.” The games available aren’t good enough yet, so it’s unwise to pump so much money into the hardware now.
To give you some perspective, you can buy an Oculus Go for well under $300.
It’s also annoying that the Vive Pro doesn’t come with controllers or a base station. That means that if you’ve got an original Vive, you’ll be fine, as you can carry those over. But if you’re a new VR buyer, you’ll need to get those separately, which oddly costs more than just buying both the Vive and the Vive Pro.
So with that in mind, is the HTC Vive Pro worth it?
In most cases, I’m afraid the answer is no. $800 is a lot of money, and while the HTC Vive Pro does pack an impressive punch, it’s hard to justify that enormous price tag.
Having said that, there are other questions to consider here. Is the HTC Vive Pro a superior product and top-of-the-line VR headset? You bet it is. If you’re worried more about getting the best VR set and less about saving your money, you’ll definitely want to check this bad boy out.
Have you tried the HTC Vive Pro? Are you happy with the upgrade? Was it worth the extra cash? Let us know in the comments!