HTC revealed a new Vive VR headset and wireless VR adapter

Less than two years after the launch of its first virtual reality headset, HTC is aiming at the high end virtual reality market with a new unit called the Vive Pro.

With displays running at nearly double the resolution of the regular Vive, text ought to become clearer and graphics will benefit from better definition. The increased resolution is also a significant increase over the Oculus Rift, HTC’s main competitor in VR. As a result, users will need a very powerful PC to run the new headset at acceptable frame rates.

The Vive Pro also features a redesigned head strap and adds built-in headphones and microphones to the headset, eliminating an extra cable normally required for an external pair of headphones. A modified frontal design also changes the weight balance of the headset in response to complaints that the normal model is too front-heavy. Dual front-facing cameras are also built into the headset which can be leveraged by content developers. The Vive Pro will be compatible with all existing titles.

In addition to the Vive Pro announcement, HTC also announced a wireless adapter for their headsets. The adapter utilises Intel’s WiGig technology, a high-frequency version of typical Wi-Fi that can put through nearly 7 gigabits per second of data. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean you will be able to use your Vive in a different room than your PC; WiGig’s high frequency typically prevents the signal from penetrating walls. The Vive Wireless Adapter will work with existing Vive headsets and the Vive Pro.

While virtual reality’s typical use case is gaming, Vive has also updated its video player which now includes a curated selection of content from Vimeo. Other improvements to the user interface and extra features have also been added.

Pricing and availability is yet to be announced for the Vive Pro, but it is likely to be quite expensive. The Wireless Adapter will launch in Q3 this year but pricing is yet to be announced. The regular Vive will continue to be sold through this year and the kit is currently priced at AUD$999.

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